Monday 10 October 2016 11.42am
Okay, so we went late last week. A mixed bag - nice, simple décor of the kind you'd expect to find in a no nonsense bar in Spain, with Spanish football on in the background on mute, hams hanging from the ceiling, sherry barrels for a couple of the tables, etc. I thought the food was good and generous - we had a plate of Spanish meats and cheese between two that could have fed four as a starter, then the Valencian paella for two, which was very good (my foodie friend pointed out it had the crust on the bottom that the Spanish love and fight over at the end of the meal). A nice man serving, very smiley and friendly, but - and here's the issue - it was comically bad service, to be honest. Almost in the realms of Fawlty Towers at points.
He was wandering into the kitchen to ask the owner who was busy cooking where everything was, whether he'd got the right bottle of wine, opening it in there, etc. so in all it took about 15 minutes from ordering the wine to having it in front of us - all when we were the only table in a really tiny place. He didn't really understand what we wanted to eat first and to follow. Saying which, I would emphasise they really were exceptionally friendly, very concerned we were happy with the food when it did arrive, and it filled up with a couple of quite big groups of Spaniards later on, which has to be a good sign.
In essence, a nice place where communication and customer service seem a bit of a challenge, which isn't the end of the world since everything is well meant and the food is good, but it is probably better to know that going in. I did really like it, and it certainly feels very authentic. I will give it another go, though given it's been open for some months I'm not sure those wrinkles are going to be ironed out. I think you just need to go in feeling quite patient - or with someone who speaks a bit of Spanish!