Nestled on a back street in the heart of Mayfair you will find El Pirata, a large and friendly tapas restaurant which is currently finishing celebrations for their 20th anniversary!
This is an impressive achievement and it was clear to see that the restaurant is popular for both business and pleasure. The moment you walk in you’re welcomed by the friendly staff who clearly have a passion for the restaurant, in particular Paulo our lovely waiter for the evening has been working there since he was a small child when the restaurant first opened. It’s a surprisingly big restaurant although I would recommend asking for a table upstairs as the downstairs area lacks the same charm.
The menu is very reasonably priced and they offer set menus at both lunchtime and evenings.
The wine list is extensive with a charming map of Spain to show you where the grapes are grown. After working our way the pages of food on offer it was time to dig in and sample the cuisine, first up was the Iberian ham, described as coming from rare semi-wild acorn fed black foot pig.
The flavours were delicious and clearly being acorn fed really does work wonders on the taste.
On Paulo’s recommendation we tried the piquillo peppers stuffed with sea food which were cooked to perfection and the prawns with olive oil, garlic and dried hot chilli peppers were a simple dish perfect for dipping the large basket of bread into.
For the meat option we had the succulent grilled lamb cutlets and the chicken with chorizo skewers, both went very well with a portion of potatas bravas.
We were coerced into opting for desserts and rather glad we squeezed them in, for myself the ‘chocolate surprise’ which was a delicious pancake.
Lawrence couldn’t resist the creme brûlée which normally I don’t enjoy but this was lovely, crunchy top and full of powerful sweet vanilla flavours.
It was a very pleasant evening and perfect for the ‘suits’ who work in Mayfair but also tourists or weekend shoppers who fancy good tapas with a relaxed, warm atmosphere.