Have enjoyed a real feast at Fino this week– just have to share.
Fino is a premium Spanish restaurant just off Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, London favoured by many wine types – and so I thought would be an ideal spot for a working lunch to discuss a new Cava.
I love the sharing aspect to tapas so we ordered several plates – my lunch date put only one proviso no Sea Urchin (some bad experiences in South America by all accounts) and no chickpeas, which was fine by me.
The Fino menu changes twice daily, so was sorely disappointed when the Pimientos De Padron we’d ordered and been dreamed about wasn’t on – apparently the delivery was expected at midday but clearly was running late.
So to start we shared some Queso Manchego – thin slices of happiness – Pan Con Tomate and Jamon De Jabugo, although I abstained from the latter. The Pan Con Tomate was delicious, although its lashings of tomate was much more generous than I remember enjoying in Spain, where it is more often than not just a thin spread.
Okay, maybe we went a little overboard on mains, as we managed to share quite a few dishes.
First to arrive was the King Prawns a la Plancha, my asbestos fingers meant I wasted no time in digging in to the meaty fleshy prawn.
We were all being too polite to start to attack the seared tuna steak on a bed of piquillo pepper but once one of us had started it was soon devoured. Seared to perfection with red fleshy centre.
The grilled squid was a real surprise for me, not at all chewy but soft and tender with so much flavour.
The Mojama salad was delightful, and something I don’t often find in UK restaurants. Considering I don’t eat jamon (and kind of feel like I’m missing out) this is one of the Spanish delicacies I savour the most. The delicate wafers of cured tuna were draped over chicory and dotted with Pomegranate seeds – providing a myriad of complementing and complex flavours.
That’s not forgetting the Chipirones (deep fried squid), stuffed courgette flowers and roast pepper salad.
I must say the two bottles of Cava we tried with lunch worked so well food. If you only drink sparkling wine as an aperitif you are missing a trick, as the wines seemed to get even better when placed with their Spanish foodie staplemates. The winemaker swears by pig and fizz as the perfect combination, will have to take his word for it but my guests for lunch certainly seemed to agree.
Somehow we had room for dessert, well I didn’t until I heard we were ordering cheese and then suddenly I was in. A platter of Manchego, Picos de Europa and Mont Enebro and a plate of Cured Payoyo cheese I was in heaven!
On the recommendation of my guest, I washed the cheese down with a glass of the sweet Telmo Rodriguez Malaga Moscatel Mr 2008, an aromatic wine full of orange peel and honey with flavours that lingered.
Superb lunch, superb company. Only after I got home did I realise there is currently a deal on where we could have saved 50% on our total food bill at lunch simply by quoting the special offer. Suggest you try this out as Fino isn’t exactly cheap but it sure is a treat. The offer is valid until September.