John Gregory-Smith struck gold in The City at José Pizarro Broadgate Circle
José’s third restaurant in the new Broadgate Circle is a sleek twist on his brand of sublime Spanish food. On one side, an open kitchen with a bar at one end and a few Ibérico hams hanging overhead. On the other, a smart dining room with concrete walls and cool copper topped tables. But despite being citied-up, José’s latest offering has lost none of the charm of his other restaurants. The staff were incredible; kind and knowledgeable about the food. And the was food just rocking.
On recommendation we started off with a few pica pica. Whopping olives stuffed with gloriously salty anchovies ((£4), juicy prawn fritters with a musty saffron aioli (£8.5) and white crab and saffron croquetas (£6.50) that had a sweet spiced flavour and a joyous ooze of cheese – bravo!
The menu is split between Charcuterie and Cheese, Small Dishes, Spanish Conservas, Sides and Large Dishes that are designed to be chucked into the middle of the table to share.
From the Small Dishes we had grilled asparagus with a fried duck egg and creamy romesco sauce (£7.50). It was served with wedges of waxy cheese that proved it was possible to eat fried eggs and be gluten free at the same time! Next, gloriously silky slithers of octopus served simply with smoked paprika and waxy new potatoes (£10). And finally, perfectly cooked pan-fried chicken livers with garlic, shallots and dry sherry (£7) that came flecked with finely chopped cornichons and capers, which added to the tang of the sherry.
The Large Dishes section of the menu included turbot, hake, José’s signature presa Ibérico pork and lamb cutlets. The pork is incredible, and if you have not had it already ignore the next few lines and just try it. But being a glutton I have been lucky enough to have eaten this many times. So for a new experience, we went for the lamb cutlets (£25). Four charred beauties arrived on a massive plate, sitting proudly on a bed of crushed potatoes, showered in rosemary and doused in a slick of deep purple olive tapenade. As we ripped them apart like pack animals, we discovered a surprise pepper sauce. Another flavour that worked beautifully with the salty meat. It showcased José’s impressive talent of dressing up simple ingredients to make them shine on a plate.
Feeling happy and full and totally enthralled by the pulsating City masses who were gathering in vast numbers in Broadgate Circle, like they were attending a booze fuelled rally, we turned to desserts and the Chocolate with Olive Oil and Salt on Toast (£6). A small pot arrived filled with a decadent dark chocolate spread, glistening with olive oil and little shards of sea salt. To dunk, small pieces of olive oiled toast. It was heaven and we polished it off in seconds, ready to slip through the suited revellers and head home.
José Pizarro Broadgate Circle, 36 Broadgate Circle London EC2M 2BN