The Gore Hotel
We’re all such time-starved people these days aren’t we? “I can’t possibly chat for a minute longer, I’m just sooooo busy!”. “I’d love to come round for dinner, but I’m booked up until Feb 2012!” In most cases we’re probably just heading off home to wash the cat, but if you really are sooooo busy, then learning of the tapas menu at Bar 190 is probably of some use to you.
You know how it is: you’re meeting friends for a drink and after a few leisurely sips of liquid you start discussing ‘staying put/moving on elsewhere’. Up until this point, you have all totally neglected your stomachs which are crying out for sustenance (as are your blood/alcohol levels), and before you know it, you all end up hammered and unable to make even the most basic of decisions. The trick here is to eat something, but it takes up so much time doesn’t it? You either have to faff around with lengthy menus, or worse still, up sticks and try to find somewhere else to eat, which can lead to irritation/arguments/collapse between a group of drunken friends with dangerously low blood sugar levels.
How does the tapas menu at Bar 190 help? Well it’s so effortlessly easy, that’s how. You meet said friends in the bar (or shack up in the secluded confines of Cinderella’s carriage* if you’re wooing the pants off someone), order some stellar cocktails (the Betsy Bon Bon is very good), and then order something from the tapas menu to see you through to the next stage of the evening. Whatever that next stage ends up being is quite obviously up to you, but it’s guaranteed to go all the smoother if you’re belly is full and your brain isn’t wilting.
The Gore’s Head Chef, Taher Jibet, who has lived and worked in Spain, has drawn from his Mediterranean background to create a tapas menu that’s big on Spanish flavours. The selection of dishes that we tried were satisfyingly savoury from the Pinchitos morunos (deliciously spiced lamb skewers) to the quite wonderfully tasty Albondigas (meatballs in a rich tomato sauce). We waited no more than 10 minutes for our dishes to turn up and guzzled the lot down faster than you could say “I’m like, sooooooo busy!”.
To be honest, unless you really are busy (your boss is breathing down your neck/you have a major operation tomorrow/your wife is leaving you etc.), it’s worth making time for this place and savouring it. If you’re short on time or can’t quite bring yourself to leave Bar 190, the tapas menu fits in just perfectly.
Tapas menu: Dishes are priced at £3.50 and £4.50. It’s worth noting that the Royal Albert Hall is a hop, skip and a jump from The Gore Hotel, so you can whizz over there after lining your stomach with a not half decent cocktail and a savoury bite from the tapas menu.
*Cinderella’s carriage: For a minimum spend of £100 this private area can be booked for a pre-post theatre/dinner party or for the whole evening for a maximum of 6 people. Complimentary canapés will be provided or alternatively the tapas menu can be served throughout the evening at an additional cost.
Bar 190: The Gore 190 Queen’s Gate London SW7 5EX. Tel: 020 7584 6601. For more information, visit: http://www.gorehotel.com/
Reviewer: Helenka Bednar