Camino Bankside’s huge outdoor terrace will be a big draw this summer. With huge umbrellas, you can choose between shade and sun. With a stack of board games and a kids’ tapas menu, Camino can be very accommodating for a family looking for a Spanish feast. It’s a menu made up of classic Spanish dishes, dubbed ‘the best bits of Spain on one table’ where you’ll be able to indulge in garlic prawns, Ibérico ham, artisan cheeses, and charcoal-grilled meats. This is combined with more contemporary dishes, and new additions for 2019, including octopus with chickpea and beetroot puree, baby aubergine with stuff peppers, and Asturian Rib-eye with sweet potato fries.
What’s the restaurant like?
With floor-to-ceiling windows, Camino’s dining room is flooded with light, giving it an airy and welcoming vibe throughout the day. The walls are adorned with brightly coloured patterns tiles that mingle with deep brown tables and chairs. By night, the place is softly lit, giving way to a relaxing, yet vibrant, evening atmosphere. Odd bits and curiosities collected by founder Richard Bigg are dotted about the place, akin to Camino’s other venues in Shoreditch, Monument and its original location in King’s Cross.
What did we eat?
Croquetas de jamón and padrón peppers, from the snacking menu, were brilliant starters that could easily be washed down at the bar with a cool glass of Estrella or a cocktail. The little green peppers were served roulette-style, a mix of hot or not, with a satisfying crunch of Maldon sea salt. Crispy squid with aioli and lemon followed delivered in crunchiness without feeling too greasy. From the charcuterie, we chose Jamón Ibérico Cebo, air-cured to 30 months, the middle tier on offer, with the top of the range a 42-month acorn-fed Black Label Jamón Ibérico. It was earthy with a hint of sweetness, satisfying a craving for Ibérico ham. Our ultimate dish was Presa Ibérica, shoulder of Ibérico pig served medium rare on a bed of mouth-wateringly creamy Ibérico rice.
For dessert, drunken banana bread (drunken because it’s soaked in Oloroso Dulce sweet sherry) topped with popping candy arrived with a side of tangy goat’s cheese mousse. The goat’s cheese should have been dolloped on top but I was very sceptical about it so ordered it on the side. There was no need to worry, it artfully brought down the sweetness of the banana bread to a satisfyingly indulgent level. All banana bread ought to be served like this.
Should you book for family lunch?
Yes. Kids eat free at weekends! Those aged 12 and under can choose between the classic and vegetarian selection on the Kids Eat Free menu. The classic comprises of Ibérico meatballs, croquetas, patatas bravas and ice cream; the vegetarian menu features tortilla, arzúa Ulloa cheese fritters, tomato bread and ice cream. Find out more here.
Should you book for date night?
A short walk from South Bank, Camino’s terrace area is a perfect place for sipping cocktails on a balmy evening. The restaurant has recently revamped its cocktail menu and added a Pink Med Frozen G&T to its fantastic list of premium gin and tonic drinks. It’s a brilliant pink G&T made from Sipsmith Gin, pink grapefruit and rosemary cocktail that isn’t too much on the sweet side, just how I like it. Other cocktails to try are the Flat White Martini and the Whiskey Smash. Friday nights have a DJ with the bar area getting pretty lively and ready for the weekend.
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