18 May 2014

Bravas Tapas, St Katherine Docks

Sorry for the big gap in blog posts - I'm having laptop issues (again!).

I've not been down to St Katherine Docks in absolutely ages. I used to regularly stroll there during my lunch hour when I worked nearby in Tower Hill but since that time this beautiful marina has been sadly overlooked. I put this right last Friday - a glorious sunny day in London town.

At the docks you'll find a vibrant community of restaurants, bars, offices, shops and homes. During the warmer months it's wonderful to sit waterside, admire the yachts and enjoy a drink or two. It's often said that it's one of London's best kept secrets. 

On this particular evening, Paul and I were paying a visit one of the newer restaurants on the scene, Bravas Tapas. It's the new venture from the Hakkasan investor, Bal Thind and restauranteur, Victor Garvey. The food they serve is traditional Spanish but with some interesting and modern twists. 

The restaurant proudly overlooks the dock and there's outside seating. On a sunny day like Friday you can sit outside and almost feel like a piece of Barcelona has arrived in the city. 

Being what felt like London's first day of decent weather this year, predictably the outside tables were all taken so we settled inside. We ordered a wonderful bottle of red and made our dish decisions. 

This is where I confess in advance that I failed miserably in the 'no foie gras' rule I gave myself last year. Paul was going to order the foie gras "Crema Catalina" with cherries, ham, almonds and brioche anyway and  it just sounded too good not to try. Total will-power flop!

And it was indeed absolutely delicious - creamy with a tangy, sweet hit from the cherries. In fact, it was so good we ordered two! 

I feel bad...

Other dishes we tried were the patatas bravas with bravas salsa and whipped-to-order alioli (another plate we ordered two of!), spinach croquettes, "Morcilla de Burgos" (black pudding sausage) sliders with green apple slaw, fresh salmon rulada and crispy foie gras stuffed quail (yes, I know...) served in a bird's nest!

Despite the slightly grainy photographs (it's quite dimly lit inside), doesn't it look great?

We had a great meal at Bravas Tapas. I was grateful that the menu wasn't as broad as it often can be at tapas restaurants - too much choice does my head in! The dishes are intriguing and exciting yet still deliver when it comes to tradition and flavour (no-one wants their tapas without the classic patatas bravas, do they?). There wasn't a plate I didn't enjoy but if I had to choose a winner it had to be the foie gras "Crema Catalina" which may have brought me guilt but also one of the tastiest spreads on bread I've had. The potatoes were fantastic too - crispy and salty with that delicious accompanying sauce. Those sliders as well...brilliant.

As the light glimmered in the marina outside, we closed our evening with the assorted Spanish cheeses - Nevat, Cabrales and Idiazabal - served with toasted bread, cranberries and fruit chutney. 

It's stunning walking back through St Katherine Docks at night. 

As summertime approaches, I'll make sure I get there much more often now my love for it has been revived. 

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  1. I went in their opening week and loved it, I love that they serve tapas but with a twist. The salmon rulada were maybe my favourite. I've been saying that we need to go back and this is a great reminder, especially as they have a few dishes now that weren't on the menu when we went.

    1. Fab! Yes I loved the salmon rulada too although I didn't think I would beforehand. I have to be honest, I thought it was all lovely! Definitely go back, it'll be great in the summer time x

  2. I had no idea those docks even existed!
    It looks the most lovely place to spend a summer's evening, and who could say no to tapas?!
    Hope your pesky laptop learns to behave himself soon
    x x x
    {The Lobster & Me}

    1. Oooh Ibbs, you have to head down and visit next time you're around! It's really lovely (especially in good weather!)

      Re the laptop, Alex calls me The Laptop Killer :( I really don't know what I do wrong!! I think maybe I get it covered in flour and icing sugar when I cook....probably should start printing out my recipes!


  3. This looks amazing! I love reading your blog, it makes my desire to want to move to London even stronger.


    1. Aw thanks! Come to London, you'll love it! x

  4. Like you I love St Katherine's dock but haven't been there in a long time. The last time was for a knights banquet, don't ask. The tapas looks yummy Lucy

  5. St Katherine's Dock is lush! I remember years ago as an overworked tv runner, being sent on an errand, getting hopelessly lost and just sitting in the sunshine in the marina, taking it all in. I agree- it is this city's best kept secret!

  6. The food looks so interesting!! Definitely a good idea putting such a creative twist on tapas! I'm off to Spain for a year next year and CANNOT wait to live off tapas all the time! haha. hope you get the laptop sorted soon:) Katie xxx


  7. I'm just such a sucker for Tapas! We'll definitely be heading down to sample the delights it has to offer soon. So glad to hear there is seating outside, I really do feel that Spanish food has to be eaten outside!

    Hope you're back up and running soon lovely!

    Katie <3

    1. Just a few more days til I get my new laptop then I'm back in the game! :D

  8. I love reading of places like this - the hidden gems. Can't wait to explore some dockland!

    Sophie x


  9. Your posts always make me SO hungry! I love tapas so much, there's a great place near us that we like to visit when we fancy coming home stinking of garlic and full of chorizo! ;)

  10. I went to this area once because so many people on Twitter recommended it. Specifically, it was the White Mulberries Café. It's an absolutely gorgeous area of London! Your meal looked fabulous. My husband and I love sliders! Will definitely have to give this place a look on the next sunny day!

  11. Ugh I love everything about this post! Your dress, the food, the places--and especially the photos. Great job, super well done. New blogger crush for sure!

    xoxo Britt
    Life In and Out of Boston

  12. Brilliant photos! I haven't wandered down to St Katherine's for a while but I might have to make a trip now. Just looking at the photos of the tapas is making me hungry!



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