2 November 2014

Cambio De Tercio

Cambio De Tercio is seen by many to be one of the best Spanish restaurants in London and after seeing my fellow bloggers rave on about a couple of dishes I pushed this to the top of my to do list with a leisurely Saturday lunch.

Although I believe tasting menus are available in the evenings, at the weekend lunch a choice of a la carte or weekend lunch menus were available. We went for a couple of tapas dishes and a main course, and could mix and match from a selection of traditional tapas, chefs special dishes and main courses. The chefs dishes and mains show influence from modern Spanish cookery and the latest in food wizardry. We started with some bread, a basket of somewhat uninspiring rolls, but these came with the type of olive oil that reminds you that you aren't making enough effort to source olive oil for home, with a bright green colour and incredible fruity, fragrant flavour.

First up, one of the dishes we travelled across London for. Eight hour tomatoes are cooked for the aforementioned 8 hours in oloroso sherry and served with basil caviar and goats cheese. The tomatoes were stunning, textured almost liked figs, sweet, moist, packed full of flavour and well matched with the heady basil and tangy cheese. This is the type of dish that justifies why I go out hunting for good meals, I've never had anything like it before and I know this will be one of the vegetable dishes that I use to benchmark future meals. My wife pronounced this as one of the best things she has had, that is, until the next tapas dish came out.

The "New" Patatas Bravas are Cambio De Tercios take on patatas bravas and are basically, crispy potato cylinders filled with spicy tomato sauce and aioli but are so perfectly balanced, and each element so perfectly cooked that they resemble manna from heaven, a mouthful of pleasure eliciting a chuckle of joy and a smile.  Very little could top those tomatoes, but these were a strong competition.

I nabbed a couple of the incredible potatoes but also had a dish of my own, cuttlefish meatballs in squid ink sauce. Four generous size balls covered in a black sauce that defied my phone cameras ability to balance light, with a single tentacle and some pumpkin puree. The cuttlefish and squid ink came through really well, with huge depth of flavour that matched the gorgeous smell of the dish as it was presented. I might have liked a touch more puree as it really added a lovely touch of sweetness and extra dimension.

The mains continued with the quality, my main, an oxtail dish presented a new way of enjoying one of my regular Sunday casseroles, oxtail in red wine. This dish just took the humble cut to stratospheric height with a sweet, sticky, unctuous sauce packed full of flavour, like they had an entire bottle of wine distilled into each bite. With this, a fruit I've not even thought would go with beef, with an apple sauce and tangy, crunchy chips of green apple providing much needed balance to the fatty richness of the oxtail. The other element really stood out too, whilst I've had foams galore, the lemon thyme "air" was unusual in having a really strong, also perfumed herbal flavour and stayed a stiff and airy foam right until the last bites of the meat. I used it like a three dimensional dip, just coating the meat in thin layer of foam. The side of mash wasn't what I expected, textured almost like a thick sauce than mash, but utterly delicious and a lovely foil to the other elements on the plate.

My wife had an excellent bombas rice casserole, a rice dish using a rarer version of the Spanish rice varieties. This dish was not quite as wet as risotto and somewhat like a paella and came with some very well cooked vegetables, including enoki mushroom's that my wife isnt normally too keen on, but were polished off rather quickly due to being so fine.

Desserts were equally as good, my wife's white chocolate ganache, passion fruit, pistachios, and ginger ice cream a great combination, whilst I had a dessert that showed some real technical brilliance, a frozen mojito inside a blown caramel ball, resting on a bed of rum jelly. I really enjoyed this fun dish, where you had to smash the ball and mix everything in the bowl up to experience all the mojito flavours, and was a delicious as it was clever and hard to make. Top marks to the kitchen for this.

We finished with some petit four and coffee, the bill coming to £157, below what I would normally pay for food of this quality, and indeed, quantity. We left happy and sated and it reignited my passion for dining out. I see why Cambio De Tercio is so popular, and why its nearby sister restaurants and bars have a good reputation, and I can only recommend you give it a try, if only just to eat some tomatoes and potatoes.

8 hour tomatoes.

"New" patatas bravas.

Cuttlefish meatballs in squid ink sauce.

Oxtail. Apple.

Olive oil mash.

Bombas rice casserole and vegetables.

White chocolate ganache.

Crispy Cuban mojito in blown caramel ball before,

and after.

Petit four.

Cambio De Tercio

Cambio de Tercio on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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