09 Mar Tabanco Cambridge – Review
We are a big fan of bite-sized food, especially Spanish Tapas paired with a good glass of Sherry or a crisp glass of white wine. The perfect meal out with friends as it is all about socialising and sharing food. The Tapas boom hit London many years ago already, but now it is hitting Cambridge too.
Brazilian style Tapas could already be found at the Emperor on Hills Road and Spanish Tapas at the pop-ups of the Spanish Private chef Estefania of Que Rico Tapas. The team of the Cambridge Wine Merchants and Estefania create interesting wine and Tapas pairing. Events, which are very popular and booking is essential. Especially, the Sunday Tapas and Wine pairings, which are held every first Sunday of the month attract big numbers.
The latest addition to the Tapas scene is Tabanco Cambridge in Green Street by the owners of Butchannie’s in Market Street. You might think “from hamburgers to Tapas?”. Burgers were actually a new offering to their repertoire. Nigel Howell and Tim Luther, the owners, have been running great Tapas bars all around London for many years. After Barrica in Fitzrovia and Copita in Soho, they opened Drakes Tabanco in Fitzrovia in 2013. Their aim was to educate the public about Sherry and they spend a lot of time in Jerez and spoke to many Bodega and Tabanco owners to find the right concept. A Tabanco is actually a bar where you can choose your sherry from one of the many barrels of Sherry.
Last week I visited Tabanco for the first time and on Tuesday I popped in with some of the team of the Cambridge Food Tour for a quick bite before our corporate evening Food Walking Tour. On my first visit, I had a very good unfiltered (raw) glass of fino and it was only £ 6. Not a tiny glass, but served in a wine glass. Tim and Nigel were keen to open Tabanco quickly and had only a week to refurbish so there was not enough time to get the Sherry barrels in. They are on their way so soon you will have a choice out of 3 Sherries from the barrel and served in the traditional Veneciador way. You also can buy Sherry to take away.
It is not only about Sherry at Tabanco, but a good glass of wine and Sherry Cocktails too! We had a selection of Tapas, Croquettes in Panko breadcrumbs, Boquerones ( Anchovies), Truffled goat cheese, Padron peppers, Pork Cheeks with PX sauce and crispy cauliflower with Piquillo sauce. To finish a delicious Catalan cream and a Bacon from heaven ( sweet pud) with a glass of Lustau East India. Tabanco is already on the list of my favourite restaurants in Cambridge.
Looking for a good roast? Tabanco is worth a visit. They have included a leg of lamb on the menu so a good excuse to book a table with a group of friends or family! I have still fond memories of the delicious roast lamb I have had in Spain over the years.
Tabanco is open from 10.30 am for coffee and a Bocadillo(roll), Churros con Chocolate or Pan con Tomate, which is one of my favourites. I like to add some Iberico ham. If you have never tried it, order it. I am sure you will love it!
p.s. and there is more to come! Another Tapas Restaurant, Tu Casa Tapas is opening in Mill Road by the end of the month, Watch this space!