Words By Charlotte Barrett
I think all these years of watching MasterChef and Great British menu have equipped me with vast knowledge to present my first review to all of you Quench readers!!
Church Street has just opened a brand-new Spanish Tapas restaurant named Santiago’s and a friend of mine and I had the opportunity to attend their launch event. Set up by husband and wife, the family independently run restaurant evolves Spanish and Cuban cuisine through traditional and authentic food. There’s nothing better than supporting an independent business, especially since the destruction of the much-loved Guilford Crescent, hosting Gwdihw Café and delicious restaurants.
The couple are lovely and made us feel well welcomed. Their passion for this new set up, combined with authentic chairs and mosaic tables, made a lovely environment to have a good old catch up with a friend over small plates and wine! I’m excited to say that students get 10% discount too!!
The launch previewed most of the menu; expect to see quintessential dishes! From Padron peppers, Iberico ham, croquettes, the tapas menu does not lack variety, with 3 for £13.95, or 5 for £20.95! I tried pretty much all of it! The calamari were crisp, delicious and my favorite, while my friend was obsessed with the croquettes! I was excited to see the staples of tomato bread, Spanish omelette and patatas bravas, which also did not disappoint! It resembled that of when I was back in Barcelona, or Andalucía.. The only thing missing is the beloved, refreshing Gazpacho! They also have paella which is available to share, for up to 4 people; perfect for a nice meal out, at only £12.40 each! The food might not be as refined and fine dining as Bar44… but the simple cooking emphasises the simplicity of Spanish flavours and love for locally sourced ingredients, with decent sized portions too.
For those not very adventurous, they do have burgers, salads, and brocadillos – a Spanish-style baguette with fillings of your choice.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is homely, and warm. Latin styled salsa music was playing throughout the evening, which really adds to the buzz of a busy sociable evening. Just like Spain, they really care about your enjoyment of the night, no rushed, in-and-out service that allows you to relax and take your time, and really relish the food! I was told that cocktails are soon to be added to the drinks menu including Sangria!
Situated in between St Marys and Queen Street, there is space for a few tables outside, even more perfect for the warmer months! All in all, I will be coming back to Santiago’s for a tapas night, or even a burger with my on the safe side friends!