Tapas can be tricky for veggies, with meaty dishes often dominating the menu, so I was interested to see what was on offer for non-carnivores and pescatarians. I'm very happy to report that, although the menu is relatively concise (with the addition of a daily specials board), there were a few veggie dishes and several more fishy ones.
Jose is a teeny-tiny, traditional tapas bar. If you're lucky you might grab a stool to perch at the counter, otherwise you'll have to stand. This certainly doesn't deter anyone. On a dull Tuesday lunchtime, the place was packed and buzzy.
The staff are very pleasant and know their stuff. They're happy to give advice on food and provide recommendations on sherry to go with your order - particularly helpful if you know nothing at all about sherry (me).
We enjoyed everything we ordered but three of the dishes really stood out for me. Firstly the mackerel escabeche: two little fillets (no bones, hurrah!) perfectly cooked with a crispy skin, was delicate and fresh. Secondly, boring as it may sound, the tomato bread was exceptional: a crunchy crust with the tomato juices soaked through the top of the bread (no picture I'm afraid, we wolfed it down). Finally the patatas bravas - another seemingly standard choice but they're so often badly done. These were golden and crispy with just the right amount of sauce.
If you want to read a bit more about Jose, I'd recommend the Dos Hermanos write up - lots more about the meat too!
Jose is a fantastic little tapas bar, I can't wait to go back. I'm also looking forward to the opening of 'Pizarro', Jose's next venture on Bermondsey Street, which will be a much larger, sit-down restaurant.
|Squid with salmorejo (tomato cream sauce)|
|Perfect patatas bravas|
|Crispy duck egg with pisto|