Tapas are bite-sized appetizers or small portion dishes; in the Spanish cuisine they are very standard and in Spain, Tapas bars are, literally, on every corner. What is good about Tapas is that you get to taste a lot of different dishes, rather than sticking to one plate. Since Pinchos boasts the fact that is brought all the way from Spain by a Spanish chef, Raul Garcia, we had to go try it out ourselves.
It was a weekend, so we played it safe and made reservation beforehand, so we were greeted by the host when we first arrived. Inside, we immediately felt the cosy vibe of the place; light music in the background, dim lights in the tables’ area, a vibrant bar area and some neon light fixtures to spice up the ambiance.
Before looking through the food menu, we decided to order Pinchos’ two signature cocktails. The first Pinchos (169LE) which is a blend of Vodka, Lychee, Sweet & Sour syrup, Lime, Orange and Basil. Even though the cocktail was extremely tasty and fresh, the basil and lychee flavours were missing. The second cocktail was Tapa Tapa (169LE) – Vodka, Passion Fruit, Sweet & Sour syrup, Orange, Pineapple and Berries- again, very delicious but the passion fruit and berry flavours got lost in the mix- probably because the sharp citrus flavours took over the whole taste.
For the second round, we left the barista to decide- this is an option if someone wants something off the menu. We got a Mango Martini (169LE) – Fresh mango, Vodka, Dry Martini and Sweet& Sour syrup; this cocktail was simply a great combination idea. Lastly, the Grape Mojito (169LE) – Rum, Grapes, Mint and Soda-unfortunately, this one wasn’t as successful- grapes and mint were not the fusion for us.
When deciding on the food, we had the urge to skip main dishes and hop on the Tapas train to taste as many things as we can. Luckily, Pinchos made it easy for us; the place has four options of themed-tapas selections: each option containing 6 dishes- one of them being a dessert. We chose Madrid (600LE) which had Potatoes with spicy Brava sauce, Fried calamari Valencia style, Salad of Octopus & coloured pepper, Shrimps in olive oil with garlic, Sausage with red wine sauce and famous Spanish churros with chocolate. The winner tapas were the shrimps in olive oil with garlic and the salad of Octopus; the cook on the shrimp was perfect and the olive oil sauce was extremely tasty and zesty, while the salad had a fragrant herb vinaigrette which showed off the faultlessly cooked octopus bits.
The second runner-ups were the fried calamari and sausage in red wine sauce; the calamari rings had a good crunch and a tangy creamy sauce on the side, meanwhile, the salty sausage went great with red wine flavor in the sauce. Unfortunately, the loser of the round was, surprisingly, the Patatas Bravas- a very famous original Spanish dish. What we got was a portion of ordinary cubed fried potatoes with a mild sauce on top -not so much the flavorful distinguished dish we expected. For that reason, we ordered one more appetizer, Mejillones Al Limon (70LE), mussels with lemon sauce; the mussels were of good quality and the lemon sauce was on-point, all in all, a successful dish.
After we were done with the savoury tapas, the fresh churros came immediately. Despite the fact that we were happily full, we finished the dessert in less than two minutes- it was just that good. The churros were hot and soft from inside, yet, crunchy on the outside and the chocolate sauce had a good balance of sugar.
Our tapas bar experience was without a doubt, a positive one. Friendly staff, amazing atmosphere and the food certainly had character. The minor mishaps are certainly to be ignored because the positives really out-weighed them.