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Cambio de Tercio

163 Old Brompton Road, London, England, SW5 0LJ, United Kingdom

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Cambio de Tercio has been serving Spanish food on the Brompton road since its owner Abel Lusa opened it in 1995.  Since then a few sister restaurants have been added, including a sherry bar Capote Y Toros a couple of doors down, and the simpler Tendido Cero opposite. Cambio itself serves a mix of tapas style dishes and some larger main courses. Some of the dishes are traditional but others are borrowed from the modernist cooking of other restaurants in Spain e.g. the patatas bravas is a direct lift of that dish from Sergi Arola in Madrid. The dining room has tightly spaced tables and always seems to be bustling – it was packed out at this early sitting on a Sunday night, for example. Most of the clientele are Spanish, as are the staff.

Tonight we started with pata negra, which was nicely cut. Tuna tartare was nicely seasoned and came with ajo blanco, a cold almond, bread and garlic sauce that dates back to Moorish times (15/20). Salmon croquettes were pleasant, quite spicy and served on rice, almost like a spicy sushi (14/20). The patatas bravas are always the star dish here, a faithful reproduction of the Sergi Arola dish, attractive to look at and with a nice spicy kick (16/20). Slow cooked tomatoes are roasted for eight hours in olorosso sherry with basil lime and La Peral cheese. The overall effect is sweet and delicious, and is one of Cambio’s signature dishes (16/20).

Spanish omelette with black truffle was pleasant, the truffle bringing a note of fragrant luxury to the humble potato (14/20). Caramelised oxtail in red wine came with potato puree and Colombia tamarillo, a fruit shaped like a plum that resembles a tomato in flavour. This was hearty and rich (15/20) and much better than turbot with yellow courgettes and globe artichokes with Basque vinaigrette. The fish just lacked much flavour, and I suppose I have been eating turbot recently at some really top restaurants so the contrast was quite evident (barely 13/20). The bill came to £105 per person, with cocktails and plenty of Torres Mas la Plana to drink. Service was charming and the evening was most enjoyable.

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Further reviews: 08th Mar 2016 | 06th Feb 2014 | 22nd Dec 2012

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