I have been a massive fan of the Tapa Room ever since it opened on Marylebone High Street in 2003. With its communal tables, fabulous selection of Tapas-style fusion dishes, a busy bar boasting memorable cocktails and a very good wine selection, the Tapa Room is well worth a visit.
Staff are friendly and knowledgeable. In the upstairs restaurant, the intimacy continues, as does the minimalist design. The food is a delicious and eclectic fusion of Asian, North African and Mediterranean flavours, intelligently composed.
I had melt-in-the-mouth fois gras with a toasted ajowan crumpet and chilli pineapple compote to start, followed by roasted lamb rump with delicate steamed dolmades. Some cheese and a most unusual and quite spectacular Valrhona chocolate and habanero chilli ice cream rounded off the occasion well. But the Tapa Room service is not particularly charismatic.
The meal was pricey at £60 a head, but included wine and was worth it for such a different dining experience.
This was no less than you would expect from Peter Gordon, one of the restaurant's co-founders. Gordon used to cook at the Sugar Club, a restaurant rare among its genre in managing to perfect fusion cooking.
Where: Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RX
Contact: 020 7935 6175
How much: Three courses, up to £60