Tori Holcomb visits Putney’s Casa Manolo for an evening of tapas
As a mum of one lively toddler I was looking forward to a night off and the chance to review one of the newer restaurants in Putney Casa Manolo seemed like the perfect choice for myself and my oldest friend, as we both love tapas and Spanish style dishes, so I was excited to see what they had to offer. Their website says that they are more than just a business, they are a family and started out in the small village of Salmoral in Salamanca before opening up in London, now with five restaurants. and that they will make you feel at home anytime, which they certainly did. Lucy and I were greeted by a friendly member of staff as soon as we walked through the door and were shown straight to our table.
Throughout our meal we were served by a delightful waitress who was always smiling and found nothing too much trouble. We were pleased to see the restaurant was fairly popular, with nearly all tables taken and many people also sitting at the small bar enjoying a glass of wine with nibbles. The restaurant itself had a simple rustic décor which did give you that Spanish feel – however, if we could have changed one thing it would have been the lighting which was a little harsh and not very conducive to a cosy dinner.
We started with a mixture of tapas dishes, Manchego cheese (£8), Patatas Picantes (£6), Iberian spicy chorizo (£6) and garlic mushrooms (£7). Each dish was presented simply on white dishes and each tasted delicious. The Patatas Picantes were a particular favourite with us – the seasoning certainly made them rather moreish.
After the large selection of starters we were feeling rather full, but decided that we would certainly like to sample a main. The waitress seemed rather surprised but, of course, happy to oblige. We decided to share the pork cheeks in red wine sauce with vegetables (£10). When this dish arrived, I did think it seemed a little small, but the pork was extremely succulent and melted in the mouth. The red wine flavor didn’t really come through, but was nonetheless very tasty. Finally, being the greedy girls that we are, we asked if we could hear what the dessert selection was. To our disappointment the choice was rather limited – cheesecake or chocolate cake – so we decided to pass. All in all, the restaurant is a lovely place for some authentic tapas, but maybe not if desserts are your thing!
124 Putney High Street, SW15 1RG