Pizarro, Bermondsey



Photo credit: Adele Audisio

Jose Pizarro is a well-known name in the London food scene; known for a mix of his excellent Spanish food, incredibly friendly nature (if you’ve met him, you can’t help but love him) & fabulous cookery books drooooool. You’ve also probably seen him on TV a few times too! 

It’s true - I am a big fan, in fact I couldn’t praise him or his entire staff more. I’ve eaten at all of his restaurants (there’s four; two in Bermondsey, one in Broadgate and one in Esher), bought his books, organised events for work at Pizarro and of course devoured his amazing olive oil (you need it!). 

 After being part of the eat out to help out scheme throughout August, Jose extended it across his restaurants throughout September and has recently announced he will be doing the same for October too.

I recently visited his restaurant Pizarro on Bermondsey Street - after a long distance relationship for some time - and I’d been looking forward to it for weeks. My partner had never been and had listened to me rave about it for some time.

We were seated looking out onto Bermondsey Street - something I’ve missed as I’ve been away from London and it was lovely to see people walking by, enjoying their evening. We immediately ordered some 2016 José Pizarro Brut Nature ‘Gran Reserva’ from Cataluña - a must if you go. 

I took longer than necessary deciding; the problem being that I’d eaten a lot of the menu when I got to try for an event we were hosting at Pizarro...and er, everything was amazing. We eventually sought advice from one of the members of staff; he actually said what I had wanted was a bit too much and subsequently told us about their specials. 

In the end, we opted for Padron peppers, 300g of their Presa Ibérica (which comes with sundried tomatoes and potatoes) and their special; a seafood rice.

As always, the service was efficient, friendly and welcoming at all times whilst really respecting the covid safety measures throughout the whole restaurant. 

The padron peppers arrived sharpish - and as always - were delicious. It’s one dish - rivalled with Pan Con Tomate - that I feel rude not ordering when I go here as it always delights me. 

Next up was the seafood rice; I had been staying off shellfish after a suspected allergy and this was my first time after knowing I can eat them...and god did it delight. The seafood was delicious; full of flavour, succulent and the entire mix of the dish blended a range of flavours to create a garlicy, flavoursome dish. In fact, I could have quite happily of left content after that. 

Ahead of the Presa Iberica, we ordered a carafe of the Marqués de Vargas, Reserva, Rioja, Tempranillo - both a delight and disappointment. Delightful because it was, well, delightful and an excellent wine. Disappointing because I’d been thinking about José Pizarro’s Syrah pretty much all day, but they were sold out. 

And then it happened - the moment my partner fell in love with a dish right in front of me. The Presa Iberica, 100% acorn fed Ibérico pork, is arguably the dish I mention most when I talk about Pizarro (that, and the lamb!). It’s medium-rare pork, something that pre-Jose I did not know was actually allowed, and it just blew me away. The smokey flavour with the tenderness of the pork is just insane, accompanied by the salted olive oil potatoes & sundried tomatoes / peppers. The portion, minimum 200g but can be around 280-300 also depending on cuts, is more than enough for two and I could not recommend it more. I have previously had the suckling leg of lamb which is also to die for. 

Finally, I couldn’t leave without a chocolate pot. A pot of pure naughtiness, a pot of chocolate topped with olive oil and sea salt………*tries to not drool on laptop*

In terms of cost? It’s more spenny than other places, but that shows through the quality. For the above, including two glasses of Cava & the carafe (375ml) of Rioja it came to £110 after the EOTH discount. There was plenty of food, we were not rushed and everything was impeccable. 

I’d be quick to book - I imagine that it’ll be busy throughout October now the discount has been extended. This is one place I can’t wait to continue to support, everything about the restaurants and the people behind it is just lovely. 

As the hospitality experiences yet more restrictions, and yet more blame despite being SUPER safe, they need our support more than ever so get yourself down to Pizarro, Jose Pizarro, Jose Tapas Bar or The Swan Inn.

194 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3TQ




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