Roja Pinchos has apparently been on Berry St, a few steps from the Bombed Out Church, for over a year. It doesn’t scream for attention, but as a consequence nobody seems to notice it’s there.

(I Googled all this) Pinchos are traditionally from northern Spain and hugely popular in the Catalan city of Barcelona, the pincho referring to the spike which keeps the bite sized portion together. I liked the idea of grabbing a snack that didn’t involve Greggs, but also I’m quite skint and pinchos are typically cheap.

Ordering was confusing as there was no fixed menu, and the waiter didn’t offer up this info for quite a while, pointing above the door to a chalk board which apparently varies on a daily basis. Which is fine, just, I’m short-sighted and felt like a bit of a lemon. In the name of reviewing, I went for three options:

  • Grilled mackerel
  • Goat’s cheese & pear
  • Marinated chicken

Zara went for the king prawn and chorizo, and we were given a bowl of olives to nibble. The space is small and intimate, so you better want to sit in your neighbour’s lap.

I’m very much on the anti-breadboard, anti-bucket, anti-bin lid and anti anything other than a plate wagon, but to be fair the food was nicely presented on some slate. It also came with delicious freshly baked sea salted crisps.

pincho

The service throughout the meal was slow considering there was only one other customer. Every other review I’ve read has praised the service even more than the pinchos, though, so I can only assume our waiter was having a late afternoon siesta and who am I to argue with culture?

In honesty I don’t remember the grub that well, because I’d never reviewed food before so was busy making insightful notes like: ‘Chicken + choritzo, green stuff + lurid yellow sauce?’

As a rule I hate seafood, but I’d seen a photo of the mackerel option online, and it turned out to be the tastiest of the three. Oh, and it was placed on some mashed beetroot.

The baby caramelised pear & goat’s cheese was placed on a bed of fried rocket/cabbage/something from the ground, and caramelised onion. Onion, especially the caremalised kind, is basically my least favorite thing in the world so I was trying quite hard to pretend it wasn’t there because this was the option I’d looked forward to the most. Although it looked lovely and was tasty, it lacked the exciting flavours of the others and I was a little disappointed.

According to Zara, ‘the toilet smelled really nice’, but ‘the restaurant needs better lighting’, standing by her advice even when tea lights were ignited. You’ve been told.

For the four pinchos I paid £12, which I thought was a little hefty. Some smaller options are apparently £1.50 each, though it wasn’t clear which. If you go earlier in the day a range of cold pinchos are also available.

We both agreed we’d go again, but maybe add a glass of wine, as pinchos are perfect for bridging the gap between winding down after a hard afternoon’s shopping (that’s why I’m skint) and getting too sozzled ahead of the evening’s festivities.

Because the menu rotates, it’s worth giving another go because you never know what surprise you’ll find. I’ve spotted a photo of what looks like fig and parma ham, which is one of my favorite concoctions ever, so I’m on the lookout for that even if I have to eat alone like a billy.

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