Opera Tavern, Covent Garden

I took my little sister to Opera Tavern for a birthday treat – a Spanish influenced gastro tapas spot. On arrival, we were initially taken from the buzz and warm glow of the ground floor to an upstairs seating space which was cold and diner-less. As we went to sit down and our voices echoed around the room, we knew we’d rather trade roominess for bustle and asked to be squeezed in downstairs near the open kitchen.

With the logistics sorted we went about ordering tapas. For kings. A plate of iberico ham was a must, we also ordered perfectly cooked scallops with celeriac and smoked butter and fall apart pork belly with comforting rosemary cannellini beans. All of which were faultless.

The flushed cheek pink cumin-y lamb cutlet with smoked garlic and courgette was delicious but, as always, portioned for hobbit. I suppose gnawing bone though is the ultimate compliment to a chef. The courgette flowers stuffed with goats cheese were as hoof-y as you can get, which I love but not for those who prefer a mild cheese taste equivalent to that of a baby bell or cheese triangle.

No question, would recommend this place to anyone looking for a treat that was reasonably priced – at just over £20 each for food we were happy-bellied and will be going back for more.

23 Catherine St London WC2B 5JS

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