Pata Negra Pop-Up Kitchen At Bambalan Review

Listen up, exciting news is out there : Bristol’s longtime favourite wine and tapas bar, Pata Negra, which was sadly missed is being brought to life again for a six week pop-up kitchen at Bambalan. Todd Francis the executive chef is giving us the chance to go down memory lane and revisit old favourites alongside new and innovative tapas dishes. We hotfooted it to Bambalan to get in on the act as soon as possible; bagged a large table even though we were only two as we had our eyes set on the Tapas Sharing Feast for a minimum of two which brings ten dishes to hungry diners. As an added incentive to ordering this, Pata Negra are supporting Children’s Hospice South West and donating £5 for every tapas feast ordered during the six weeks of the pop-up which is a brilliant boost for this worthwhile charity.

First on the table were the boquerones, white anchovies in olive oil, the staple of a good tapas, together with fat and juicy stoneless Gordal olives (gordal means ‘fat one’ in Spanish), not bitter but with a slightly citric taste. Then wood fired pan con tomate, and house tortilla with aioli, and everybody’s favourite, patatas bravas, hot and crisp potato with aioli, the table was getter fuller by the minute but still the dishes kept coming. Completing the feast, magnificent charcoal grilled king prawns with garlic and lemon, charcoal grilled lamb chops with salsa verde, jamón croquetas, and for the vegetable lovers, grilled broccoli romesco, and Padrón peppers, grape ajo blanco with crisp onion breadcrumbs.

 

 

Where to start?! Sensibly I think with the boquerones, salty and piquant and the olives, then tasting the grilled garlic prawns which were terrific and for us won the star dish of the tapas feast. The lamb chops were excellent too; charred on the outside and pink within – I didn’t join my dinner guest in wrapping pieces of pink lamb in slices of the pan con tomate as a tapas-based take on a sandwich, but he assured me it was great and perhaps it will start a new trend.

The patatas bravas were as good as ever (not a crumb was left); if I’m honest the grilled broccoli was a tad al dente for my preference, but I enjoyed the romesco; a blend of almonds and peppers which makes a good dipping sauce. Jamón croquetas, another favourite, split them open and enjoy the creamy sauce flavoured by ham, and the house tortilla packed full of potato and onion.

It was great fun and ‘sharing feast’ certainly describes the concept aptly – go get it whilst it’s there, between 13th October and 25th November!

Jacquie Vowles

 

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