I You can’t beat Soho on the weekend… or any time of week, really. There’s a buzz that you just don’t seem to get anywhere else in London and that’s why I spend so many evenings in a bar or restaurant this side of town. Yesterday, it was Las Banderas; the West End outpost of the tapas chain.
Off to a shaky start, we were told by the bartender that they were closed – when I say told, I mean given a strange cut throat sign – even though we had a booking. Shaking off the confusion, we finally got seated and made our way through the menu. Friendly waiters, attentive service and tasty dishes and drinks made up for first impressions.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Lychee Caipirinha, though the boyf was hardly impressed with his Sangria. Dishes came quickly, though most were slightly oily. If you order one thing, make sure it’s the Squid Ink Paella; topped with a dollop of garlicky cream, it’s a knockout. Skip the octopus (it’s bland and rubbery) and make sure you order some bread and chorizo, they’re well flavoured and perfect for mopping up.
What we ate:
- Pan Catalan – ciabatta bread brushed with fresh tomato and garlic (£4)
- Squid ink paella with octopus ink black rice + cuttlefish (£15)
- Chorizo with cider gravy (£6)
- King Prawns Pil Pil with sizzling olive oil, garlic, Guindilla chilli (£8)
- Braised octopus with new potatoes, paprika (£9)
- Churros with chocolate sauce (£6)
What we drank:
- Lychee Ciapirhina: cachaça, Kwai Feh liqueur, like, sugar (£9)
- Sangria (£8)
- Cava x2
Dinner in pictures:
You’ll find Las Banderas at 68-70 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TB.
London Girl ✖️