Historical version 3 of El Faro, E14 9RD (view current version)

Good Spanish/tapas restaurant on the Isle of Dogs. The interweb suggests that they do good steak. You can do the full starter-main-dessert thing, or just have tapas. They offer 24-hour roasted suckling pig, flown in from Spain.

Unless you fancy the (not unpleasant) 15-20 minute walk from Canary Wharf Tube Station, you'll have to use the DLR to get here, but really, that's no great hardship, and the restaurant is literally seconds from Crossharbour Station. Has an outside terrace looking on to the river (although Millwall Dock is perhaps not the most attractive stretch of the Thames).

Kake and doop visited on a Wednesday night around 8:15pm. We hadn't booked, but there was no problem finding us a table for two. They offered us a choice between an immediate table right in the middle of the restaurant, or a "just being cleared" table by the window; we chose the latter, and the wait was indeed very short.

I am too tired right now to write a proper review; but we went for the tapas option, choosing five starters, a salad, and a basket of bread between two of us. With a cheese plate to finish, this was the right amount. The marinaded tuna was thin slivers of raw tuna; nice, though perhaps too heavy a hand with the salt crystals. The peppers padrones, on the other hand, though tasty, could maybe have done with a bit more salt (not a problem; our bread basket came with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a mound of salt crystals, so we just applied some of these). The ham has been raved about, but Kake was not as amazed by it as she'd expected; it was OK, but not what I was hoping for. The tomato-rubbed toast that accompanied it, on the other hand, was very good. We also had the croquettes (perfectly fine) and the octopus (good; the potatoes the octopus was served on top of were the perfect contrast to the chewy octopus, and the buttery oil that the dish was drenched in was quite gorgeous).

Service was friendly and helpful, though for some reason they seem to have only one staff member who's allowed to take orders, and she's also the one who slices the ham, so we had a little wait before we could order. I don't entirely understand what was going on here.

Um. Tired. Will possibly write some more at some point. The basic gist though is that I think Bob will like it, and I plan to come back here with him some time. --Kake

Other reviews:

Opening hours taken from the El Faro website, May 2007.
OS X co-ord: 537804 OS Y co-ord: 179327 (Latitude: 51.496095 Longitude: -0.016246)
This is version 3 (as of 2007-09-27 23:16:03). View current version. List all versions.