Nice review - and in there quick, too!
18 High Street, Walthamstow, London E17 7LD
“The Windmill Tapas Restaurant was opened by proprietors Jose & Regina in 2002 bringing an exotic taste of Portugal and Madeira to north-east London. The Windmill is a local best kept secret at the western end of Walthamstow High Street. Why not...” more...
8 reviews of José in English
I always been a great lover of cultures who sits down and spends time to enjoy the food and the company they are with. It saddens me something that we do not have this culture in London. Even in Asia, even how very over productive they are, time is essential for making money. They still take time to have their lunches. A proper lunch at most time with friends or even just on their own. In London, having an hour break seems a sort of guilty pleasure that you’re forbidden to enjoy.
I want to introduce, one of my favourite tapas places in London. The food is good, but what I like about it is, it feels I just stepped into a tapas place in Spain. No reservation says Jose. Yeap, Jose’s tapas bar. This little tapas place in Bermondsey brings me back to times good times in Spain. Wine barrels as table tops, simple tapas dishes, and all good Spanish wine by the glass. I went to Jose yesterday, had a few tapas and drinks over long chats on a summer’s day (in London). It was perfect. Simple Spanish food and culture. A good way to experience Spain in London. I highly recommend Jose for exactly what I said. SIMPLE SPANISH CULTURE!!!
Met my friend here a few nights ago, he got there first, ordered a beer and was informed he had to order food as well. He explained he was waiting and would order when I arrived, but they insisted. Ridiculous, it’s not even a restaurant, but a tapas bar, with tiny tables.
When I arrived, I ordered a padron peppers and a glass of wine; prices start at an expensive £5.50 a glass, and quickly go up. Peppers were average, stingy portion.
When we went to have a cigarette, we were told to stand on the other side of the street.
All this coupled with a small, crowded, noisy room. I will not be going back.
After many months of waiting we finally got round to making a long overdue visit to Jose on Saturday. Having walked past the tiny corner bar many times, and seen the crowds hopefully waiting for a bit of space to free up inside, we were well aware that we would need to arrive early if we wanted to avoid queuing in the snow.
We turned up just before 6pm and were lucky to get a couple of stools by the window facing Morocco Street. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Jose it’s probably worth pointing out that this is a bar not a restaurant and it’s more than likely that you will be spending your evening propping up the bar or a strategically placed barrel.
The sherry list looked very inviting and after a bit of chat with the friendly and informative staff we started our evening off with a glass of the Manzanilla Pastrana for me and the Puerto Fino for B. When combined with a plate of hot, salty padron peppers this is possibly the perfect way to get the appetite up and running.
The menu covers all the tapas classics and is supplemented by an ever changing selection of daily specials chalked up on a blackboard behind the bar. The prices are pretty reasonable and there is plenty to stimulate even the most jaded of palates.
We had a good run at both the daily specials and the normal menu; ordering a couple of plates at a time and then adding a few more later. If there are only two of you eating it’s quite easy to get carried away and seriously over order!!! Stand out dishes were the sweet chilli prawns which were just divine, the hake with allioli and some very tasty meatballs.
The wine list was well put together with plenty of good things to drink without breaking the bank. We had a bottle of the Casa Maria Verdejo (£18) which went down very well and was a good accompaniment to the fish dishes.
By the time we were thinking about dessert it was after 8pm and London’s first snow of the year was coming down thick and fast. Bermondsey Street was looking very picturesque, but sensing looming trouble with the rail network we decided to make a hasty exit well pleased with a lovely evening at Jose and vowing to come back for a long lunch next month. Highly recommended for both the food and quality of service.
Simple, well prepared, quality food. Great little venue and menu. Only downside? I know it sound silly but can’t quite get over the Italians working in a Spanish bar. They’ve got the wrong attitude pushing side orders, extra drinks and tips and their accent/gesturing grates. Bring back the Spaniards and it would be a 5
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Visited Jose’s on a stifling late summer day. It was lunch time, midday in fact, as I’d heard that there is very little space when busy. This was a great move as we got to sit at the window and watch the world go by. There are no tables just ledges or barrels to place your food/drinks on.I ordered cava to drink which was very . Food consisted of bread and oil, tomato salad, clams and morels. There was a slight slip with out order as we had actually ordered razor clams but got clams but was not a problem. The food was moreish and simple. The real star was actually the tomato salad which consisted of the tastiest tomatoes I’ve had in London (I hope they can be sourced in Borough market!) I will certainly be visiting Jose’s again but don’t fancy going when it’s busy as I like to sit down when eating.
Full review at www.grumblinggourmet.com with photos
We'd finally hit summer. Friday night spent lolling outside the pub and a perky Saturday of sun and fun with walks wearing shirt and no jumper. A continental day ended appropriately with a hoped for but unscheduled aperitif stop in Bermondsey tapas joint du jour Jose. Owned eponymously by Jose 'Brindisa' Pizarro and garrulous business partner front of house expert Herve, it's finishing the job that neighbour (and final dinner destination) Zucca kick started and making Bermondsey, Street at least, a real foodie destination.
I have a slight problem with tapas restaurants out of their native environments, and it's that you can't crawl. The joy of tapas for me comes with a gleeful bowl around the neighbourhood and a bite and a glass in each joint. Moderation, exercise and a pub crawl in one. With a little help from Herve, we may have cracked it.
Prior to dinner and after a long warm walk, I was ready for a glass of something dry and crisp and cold. I steered us into Jose, keen to have a gander. The white tiled space focussed around the marble slab bar feels uncharacteristically out of place in South London, the heat emanating from it even more so. A combination of the small room, a large stove surrounded by Jose and his brigade, no air con and a sunny day meant I nearly lost the others at the first hurdle. The place was packed, no more than 25 in there, but it's enough not to want to be there when it's busier. No reservations means that like Spuntino you're going to have to come early, or be prepared to wait. As Herve explained, they're not aiming for the (London) bridge and tunnel crowd but hoping to add something to a great little local scene prior to opening larger restaurant Pizarro later in the year.
I sucked down deliciously dry sherry while we gorged, an early doors licensing quirk meant no booze without food, on a couple of the delicious tapa from behind the counter. We grabbed a couple of plates judging they would suffice as starters. Sea fresh boquerones, juicy white anchovies, came in a light and sweet seasoned cava vinegar, Murcian speciality pisto, a simple full flavoured Spanish version of ratatouille, came with a perfectly fried duck's egg. Giant yolk flecked with salt looming over the the plate reminding us of the late spring sun. Despite the specials board (cruelly featuring crab and basil croquettes the next day) you'd struggle to make a full meal out of the place, but that's partly the point. Grab a couple of plates, and move on. We admitted to Herve that we were going on to Zucca for our mains; "there you go then! There's your tapas crawl.. start here, mains at Zucca and then on to Village East for a cocktail or dessert." Tapas crawl, Bermondsey style.
Neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours...or so they say on Ramsey St.
And it's no different here on Bermondsey St, with the latest addition to the already thriving foodie neighbourhood (Zucca and Garrison are both on the same street) - we welcome José; a Sherry and Tapas bar co-owned by ex Brindisia Spanish chef José Pizarro and Hervé Durochat, formerly of Hakkasan and the Soho House Group.
The food menu is concise with the usual suspects like Tortilla, Patatas Bravas and Jamon Ibérico, along with a daily changing market-menu (the specials), dependent on whatever is fresh at the market that morning.
We ordered the special of grilled sardines (£5), and pork neck (£8), served medium rare instead. Both were incredibly tasty, simply cooked with a drizzle of olive oil, yet perfectly seasoned.
The Patatas Bravas (£2.50) were quite possibly the best I've had..definitely in London anyway. Crispy on the outside and gorgeously fluffy on the inside, served with a fresh, heavenly dollop of aioli on top.
The Jamon Ibérico croquettes were good, but at £6 for some pequeñas bolas, I could have easily gone without.
The vibe is great though. Buzzing, yet cosy, reminiscent of the tapas bars in Barcelona's La Boqueria markets.
The arrival of José to the neighbourhood is perfectly timed, especially for the summer months ahead.
Get there as soon as you can! Olé
For full review and pictures, please go to www.gourmetbelly.wordpress.com
alexsheppard, 1 June 2011:
GourmetBelly, 2 June 2011:
:) Thanks! ALOT of Gourmet Belly feeding over the long weekend.
Got one for da POLPO too when I get a chance...
Hope you're well! x
sarahdrinkwater, 3 June 2011:
OK Gourmet Belly - I'm off out for a celebratory dinner tomorrow, Jose or Da Polpo or Spuntino? (you can tell I'm an optimist in terms of reservations/waiting times!)
GourmetBelly, 21 June 2011:
Sorry Sarah. Only just saw this! Which one did you get to (have the patience for in terms of queuing) in the end?
Of the Russell Norman offerings, my fave is actually Polpetto, but if you're there with a group for celebrations, da Polpo definitely has more space.
sarahdrinkwater, 21 June 2011:
We ended up going to Trattoria da Luigi locally after we had to wait for a plumber! Not quite as exciting...
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