The British haven’t quite found the skill of beautifying concrete monoliths quite like other countries around the world like Singapore. Broadgate Circle is our latest stab at this arduous task. Whilst there are more alfresco spaces, it doesn’t quite convince as the urban oasis the architects no doubt hoped it would be. Foodwise the standout restaurant in the complex is José Pizarro, which is an all-day tapas bar, where you are more than welcome to go in just to share a few small plates along with carefully sourced Spanish wines and Cava.
The decor strikes the right note being elegant without being opulent and quirky without being gimmicky. There is an inviting marble bar top where you feel comfortable to try out their divine charcuterie like Jamón Ibérico along with a glass of dry sherry which cuts through the fat.
I opted to try their tapas dish, something that really shows off the chefs skills rather than their plating techniques. I was recommended the truffle mash with poached egg, as it was one of their most popular dishes. The mash was rather firmer in texture and more filling than typical mash elsewhere and the egg yolk soaked invitingly into the mash, although I thought the truffle tastes were far too weak.
Sugar cured salmon had both the looks and the taste, which was unsurprising when José Pizarro has added Pedro Ximénez, lime mayo, capers and gherkins. Once you’ve had this version, you might find the smoked salmon in British restaurants rather mundane and pedestrian.
You might need to google translate if you saw Salpicón de pulpo on a menu. It is in fact a medley of octopus and the dish is summery and appetising with a salsa sauce mixed in with the octopus. This would be the perfect dish to pair with their cava selections.
A lot of restaurants offer 28 days aged beef, but they don’t offer normality here, the beef dish is 35 day aged Irish strip loin. Those in the know would appreciate the high quality of Irish cattle. The advertised jersey royals were not present in the dish, but the romesco sauce added some fire to the tender meat. I didn’t actually mind not getting the potatoes because by this time, I had already ordered far too many tapas dishes.
Bankers are not necessarily the favourite types of people you want to dine with, but if any restaurant is worth making an exception for, it would be José Pizarro.