Chef and restaurateur, Victor Garvey, is bringing Catalan cuisine to Soho with his third restaurant, Rambla. It’s inspired by his childhood, growing up in Barcelona’s La Rambla district and the decor is based on the beachfront restaurants. Rambla only opened towards the end of last year and instantly I heard great things about it – even food critic Tom Parker Bowles gave it a great review so I was really excited to get a table for lunch and try it for myself. I also had high expectations…
At the moment, only the ground floor is open with the basement expected to open later this year. There’s definitely a relaxed beach vibe, with the decor in blue and white. There’s table and counter seating where you can watch the chefs at work and you can specify where you’d like to sit when you book. Normally we like to sit at the counter but this time we chose a table by the window.
Whilst we were looking at the menu the manager brought us complimentary glasses of Cava, which was a really nice touch! The menu is fairly small – just one page – which I really like. Sometimes I find it difficult to choose when there is too much choice.
We opted to go for the pan con tomate and the Jamon de Bellota Gran Reserva, the grilled octopus, spinach croquetas and the quail drumsticks.
I absolutely love pan con tomate and always order it if it’s on the menu. The tomatoes had a lot of flavour and I liked how their portion has two pieces. Usually they come as just one slice.
The Jamon de Bellota Gran Reserva was quite pricey at £20 but it was really good. It’s aged for at least three years and the quality and flavour of the meat was excellent. We ordered some bread to eat it with but it also complimented the pan con tomate.
The spinach croquetas were a good-sized portion and beautifully presented. For me, they were quite garlicky but I still wolfed them down. The roasted pine nut aoili that accompanied them worked really well.
I absolutely love grilled octopus and I eat a lot of it when we’re on holiday by the sea. Sometimes octopus can be a bit chewy but Rambla’s grilled octopus was perfect and the garlic and tarragon alioli worked so well with it. It had a wonderful barbecue flavour too. Again, the presentation was stunning.
The quail drumsticks were so beautifully presented and tasted as good as they looked. There was quite a bit of meat on them too as usually when I have quail, there’s not a lot of meat – it’s a small bird after all. My only criticism is that there should have been four drumsticks, not three, as tapas is about sharing so if there are two of you and three of something, you end up fighting over the last piece!
We really enjoyed our lunch at Rambla and would definitely go again. The food was delicious, service was good and we liked the ambience of the restaurant too. The portions were decent and it wasn’t overly priced. If you enjoy modern tapas, give Rambla a go.