Tapas in the sunshine on Putney Wharf brought a smile to everyone
I know everyone says sunshine makes you smile but our table were not only joyful due to a glorious spring day in Putney (it's been a long wait, but fingers crossed the sunshine is here to stay!), but also because lunch at Putney's newest tapas restaurant was something to smile about.
The restaurant was quite busy in its second week in Putney with families, couples and friends of all age ranges, and when we left there the tables in the sunshine outside were all full - you could imagine you were in downtown Barcelona.
Inside the decor is minimalist with starched white tablecloths and elegant crockery and the staff welcoming but un-intrusive.
The bread basket is dangerous, a warm selection of breads that are far too moor-ish. You have been warned!
We opted to share various choices of hot and cold tapas. First to arrive was the Jamón Ibérico de Bellota D.O Jabugo (£18) which came with Pan con tomate (£3), toasted bread with olive oil a hint of garlic and a delicious tomato salsa. The ham was divine - it simply melted in the mouth leaving a craving for the next mouthful.
boys favourite was the Tabla de embutidos Ibéricos (£12) a board of
Spanish charcuterie (ham, chorizo, salchichón and lomo). Each strongly flavoured meat evoked the taste of summer holidays, sunshine and the Mediterranean.
The tartar de atún rojo, concasse de tomate verde y guacamole (£8.80) was my favourite choice, a generous portion of tuna tartar with a light fresh tomato salsa and guacamole - refreshing and light and well presented.
The Croquetas de Jamón Ibérico (£6.90) pictured right, were another hit with the boys, balls of potato with small pieces of ham that didn't stay very long in the bowl!
A perfectly cooked Tortilla Española (£6.50) came with mayonnaise and the spicy sauce often served with patatas bravas which sadly were not on the menu today.
The Gambas a la plancha con ajo-aceite (£7.80) were attractively fleshy long prawns grilled with garlic oil and served with lime and sea salt.
The wine list is extensive - all Spanish,
with Protected Denomination of Origin, my husband opted for a glass of the house red (£4.50), a 2011 Tempranillo a rich purple in colour with a spicy tang. I ordered a glass of Inurrieta Norte (£5.50), a 2009 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend. This was very much to my liking: a rich smooth rounded wine with a great depth of flavour of rich dark fruits from the Navarra region.
Sadly we had no time to try the tempting dessert menu as Craven Cottage was calling the males of the family to attend the match against Arsenal, although I was intrigued by the mojito sorbet (which has received a thumbs up on the forum) - another time (sigh).
The restaurant offers a choice a lunch time set menu (2 courses £15 or 3 courses £18 ) or hot and cold tapas and main courses - so plenty of excuses to keep returning! As summer approaches the draw of the outside eating at lunchtime, a quick bite before or after the cinema or a full blown meal , there are many reasons to give Alquimia a try.
"Una cordial bienvenida a Putney" is what I say to the owners of Alquimia.
April 30, 2013