El Pirata Tapas Bar and Restaurant
Kensington Mums had the pleasure to experience a lovely dinner at El Pirata; an authentic Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant located in the heart of Mayfair.
There is no doubt why this lovely restaurant has been operating for over 25 years: their delicious food served by their friendly staff. The décor is very cosy creating the typical look and feel of the real tapas bar, with a few tables on the ground floor surrounded by walls decorated with Spanish art replicas ranging from Piccasso, all the way to Miró. There is a lovely staircase leading you to the lower floor – the Cellar, where you can hold private events, meetings and it also seems to be the place where the celebrities prefer to enjoy their time at El Pirata. There is also a terrace and you can even sit outside on the street level if the weather is nice.
As soon as we entered we were greeted by a smiling gentleman. We then asked for Jose and he immediately welcomed us to El Pirata, my son was sleeping and he jokingly said – “had your son known you where coming here he would not be asleep” I can understand why he said this, nobody wants to miss this experience, but at the same time I was so content that he was sleeping as it was going to be a real dinner date with my partner, where we could finally have a nice chat and enjoy dinner without having to look after a super dynamic toddler As he is – bless him and please dont judge me, but there are some times when you simply want to enjoy. We sat at a table next to the window overlooking the street and they were so nice to assist us with the pram ensuring we were OK and comfortable.
Then we were greeted by another member of staff who immediately gave us the menu and also asked if we wanted sparkling or still water. I have to say that all staff members are delightful and very professional. They are all wearing masks as per the “new normal”. So you can still feel they are taking the necessary health measures.
We then said that we like everything and that we would love to be surprised with their choice of what we should have as per the recommendation of the chef – only request was we were not very keen on spicy food. They have an extensive wine list as well that surely pairs great with all their food. We decided to also let them surprise us with their recommendation of red wine.
An so we set off on a delightful real Spanish trip without having to leave London! Now we know the secret of this lovely gem of a restaurant. They started bringing their tapas – Pan con Tomate – delicious toasted bread topped with fresh tomatoes, olive oil and garlic very tasty and crunchy, Padrones which are small Galician green peppers , which were very good and I am not a pepper lover so for me to say this they must have been amazing. We also had their Croquetas de Pollo – chicken croquettes- very creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. We also had the most delicious 5J Jamón Ibérico 100% 5J bellota acorn fed, really the best thing ever, simply delicious – they even say it’s Spain’s national treasure and it is indeed!
We were then introduced to their “sea” selection as we had their Gambas al Pil Pil – their prawns in olive oil, garlic and dried hot chilli peppers – they had a very mild kick to them and were not overpowered by the chili but more by the tasty garlic flavor, we also tried their Pulpo al Pirata – their octopus with potatoes olive oil and paprika, very fresh and tasty, and then our favorite – Lubina a la plancha – amazing, grilled to perfection sea bass on a bed of monks beard which are crispy greens also known as Barba di Frate or Agretti. Then we were already starting to be very well satisfied when the lovely gentleman said we are now starting with the meats – we were like what?! He brought Pinchos morunos con Chorizo – marinated chicken cubes with chorizo skewers very tasty and great combination as the chicken absorbed the flavour and spice of the chorizo. We also had Chuletas de cordero – grilled lamb cutlets that were very tender so much so they fell off from the bone – very good! We were already full by now and so we could hardly finish these delicious plates. However, we were tempted to try their dessert menu to end our meal with a sweet treat and so we tried their Crema Catalana which was a crème brûlée with a crunchy caramalised top. By then my son was awake and he devoured it up as this luscious cream tasted as heaven on earth and we couldn’t help it and also were tempted to try their Tarta Santiago – it’s the traditional Galician cake made with almonds served with vanilla ice cream another slice of heaven on our palates and the perfect way to end a succulent meal.
Throughout all of our visit all the members of staff made us feel truly looked after as they were constantly ensuring we were ok and offered an impeccable service the whole time we were dining. Everyone has a lovely welcoming smile that we could even see through their masks.
A real gem of a restaurant where you can truly enjoy divine Spanish tapas as they have overall more than 40 authentic dishes, traditional and classic tapas, the amazing Jamón Ibérico 5J, paella and vegetarian options as well. Served by a friendly staff in a cozy ambience with an extensive wine list that will please anyone and everyone as well vermouth, whiskeys, and spirits.
We highly recommend coming to El Pirata on a dinner date, to celebrate with friends and family, or to brunch with the whole family as they are, unlike many in the area, kids friendly and a must visit restaurant.
Address: 5-6 Down Street, Mayfair W1J 7AQ
T: 020 7491 3810