Latest opening: Bar Kroketa

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Bar Kroketa Spanish restaurant Soho Brindisa

Related tags Bar Kroketa Brindisa Soho Spanish cuisine

Spanish ingredients specialist Brindisa’s latest restaurant launch gives the croqueta top billing.

What:​ A bar restaurant just off Soho’s Carnaby Street that specialises in croquetas. Bar Kroketa takes its name from the Basque spelling of the deep-fried bechamel-based snack, which despite being a French-import has become emblematic of Spanish cuisine. A frequently-changing selection of savoury and sweet croquetas are offered alongside a tight menu of supporting dishes. 

Who:​ Bar Kroketa is a spin-off from Spanish restaurant group Brindisa,​ which operates five London restaurants under its core Tapas Brindisa brand as well as a duo of smaller sites within Borough Market. The group was founded by Monika Linton in 1988 as a wholesaler of specialist Spanish ingredients. Over the past three decades or so it has grown into a major supplier to both restaurant and the general public, opening its first restaurant in 2003. 

The vibe:​ Abutting one of the entrances to Kingly Court, the space has a notably narrow frontage but gets a little wider to the rear. To the front of the Beak Street restaurant is a long bar with adjacent window seating while the back of the site is home to an area with more of a restaurant feel and a small, semi-open kitchen. The aesthetic is rustic, with hand-written blackboards, mix and match furniture and boxes of supplies stacked around the space. 

The food:​ Contrary to the above picture, croquetas arrive in portions of two, meaning that Bar Kroketa isn’t a place to take an uneven number of people to. Savoury croquetas include girolle and pine with shaved idiazabal cheese; salt-baked celeriac with apple alioli; and the more conventional jamón, which arrive on a bed of crispy migas (pimped fried breadcrumbs). Sweet options include Payoyo - a type of goat’s cheese from Cádiz - with peach and raspberry. Dishes from the rest of the menu - which is probably best described as creative Spanish drinking food - include crab toastie with cider-pickled cucumber; anchovy, peach and lardo; and lamb neck pintxo moruno with kalimotxo reduction. 

To drink:​ Bar Kroketa has a wide-ranging drinks offer that takes in an eclectic selection of draught beers, Basque cider, cocktails and lots of different apertif-type drinks, including a range of sherries and vermúts. Starting at £28 a bottle for still wines, the wine list is tight with a choice of three sparkling wines, five whites, four reds and two rosés. 

And another thing:​ Prices are generally approachable, but at up to £3.50 a pop Bar Kroketa’s core product (which are of the spherical variety that are two bites at best) are rather enthusiastically priced.  

21 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9RR

Brindisa takes another new concept out for a spin 

Brindisa has launched a number of spin-offs over the years including the grill-focused Morada Brindisa Asador, the rice dish-championing Tramontana Brindisa and even the Barcelona-based La Volta Brindisa Bar Restaurante. All followed the trajectory of virtually every other casual dining restaurant group spin-off in that they were relatively short-lived. Kudos, then, for the group having another roll of the dice.

Hopefully Bar Kroketa’s crowd-pleasing and casual nature will see it succeed where Brindisa’ previous projects failed. Beak Street is undoubtedly a good place for a tapas bar, presenting a stark contrast with Morada Brindisa Asador and Tramontana Brindisa, which as well as offering Spanish dishes that were far less mainstream had tricky locations to contend with also. Could Bar Kroketa be one of the handful of spin-off brands from established groups that goes the distance?   

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