Opera Tavern…..culinary fun in Covent Garden

From the ham hock carvings for door handles to the spanish influenced decor (and you would not know it looking on from the street at this wonderful theatrical Victorian facade),  this recently opened 2 storey Tapas bar and grill is a fun experience before or after theatre in Covent Garden, London.

In a part of London full of restaurant chains, over-rated pubs and traps for the hungry unsuspecting tourists, the Opera Tavern is a welcome addition.

Its  a confident place, full of bustle and no wonder, given this is the 3rd venture for the 2 enterprising young chefs behind Salt Yard and Dehesa.   The bar downstairs has a no booking policy (the drink order however took far too long), while the restaurant upstairs with bare brick walls and interesting poster art, is a small and trendy space complete with wine wall of spanish wines and sherries. The drinks list offered Proseco, Cava and Sherry inspired cocktails.

Specialising in Italian and Spanish influenced tapas, it has a charcoal grill on the ground floor serving tantalising grilled meat and seafood tapas. The 5 year aged Iberico pork was the star but so were the chargrilled skewers of Gressingham Duck and Octopus. The constant stream of the mini Ibérico pork and foie gras burger went past making this clearly a popular dish. The melt in the mouth sirloin steak served with bone marrow , chips and roasted garlic was terrific. The salad of chargrilled baby fennel with a citrus dressing was a great twist and exquisite.

Iberico Ham 5 year aged

Octopus/chirizo with pomegrante (left) and Gressingham duck skewers (right)

roasted baby fennel, spanish red onion and black olive salad with citrus dressing

chargrilled sirloin beef, iberico fat fried chips, bone marrow and roasted garlic

Three Manchegos with quince

23 Catherine Street

London WC1

Opera Tavern on Urbanspoon

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