Café España There are places where you go out with your friends to have a good time accompanied by a good meal. One is your house if you have got the space, time, and wish to cook. Here is another one, from my favourites, Café España, a Spanish restaurant. It is situated in the middle of Soho, in the busy Old Compton Street. And is not a quiet place inside by any means but not so loud that it will rush you off. The music Spanish/ Latin played softly and the site is fairly small (a dozen of tables), almost full at most times… The service is varied: from a waiter that would speak the minimum (we were left wondering if he spoke English, Spanish or neither) to another who would dash to open doors (we took it on the funny side) and who would even try Japanese if needed. A bit over the top. Anyway, it is the kind of place where you feel you can stay for hours without anybody caring about or being pushed into consuming something (it is rather the other way and they seem to forget about you after you have finished your meal and you will need to make all the effort if you want something after a while). But let’s got to the food which is great here: As a Spanish restaurant there is a tapas menu and a conventional one. The choice of tapas is wide (about 20 different) , with prices about £4-£5 and sizes quite generous. We found all the habitual plus some nice additions. They are all flawless but I suggest their anchovies, sardines or even kidneys in wine sauce. Of course you could go for the chorizo or tortilla if you do not feel adventurous. The main menu is typical Spanish fare starting with soups and salads and main courses basically of meat or fish (some vegetarian options, though but mainly starters and salads). I have not tried the starters yet (I would rather have the tapas) but I would recommend anyone the fresh fish or tender meat, any recipe, cooked to perfection . Both accomp
anied by a side of vegetables or salad and home-made chips or sauté potatoes. Big portions, you finish them out of greediness. Prices are around £7-£9. But most people come here for the paella (including a good share of ex-pat). Paella for 2 should mean 2 extended families and waiters routinely collect left-overs for take-away that is ,if you think you would need to eat in the next few days (I go into diet straight away). The price is £22, very cheap indeed (and if you think of the amount of seafood, fish and meat that includes, a steal) Drinks as usual, including, of course San Miguel and other Spanish beers and a long list of Spanish wine, well priced (almost at retail prices). You may still want to see the puddings :they are in display at the entrance and look sumptuous, home made crème caramel, cheesecake, chocolate cake, ice-creams, and many others than I would usually like to try but I am too full to do. We sometimes will share one or two between all of us and we quickly forget we have eaten too much to dispute about the last portion. In conclusion, a place to come back and back, anytime I want to meet my friends for a good meal.. And my colleagues, my parents, my boyfriend… I do not need an excuse to go there , have a good time and enjoy the food.