Camino celebrates the flavour and vitality of Spanish life. The restaurants, which can now be found in four locations across London offer reasonably priced authentic tapas and delicious wines and sherries. We visited the most recent addition to the group in Monument. Satisfying the hungry bankers working in this area on a Thursday night, the bar area was rammed full but the restaurant was less busy. The atmosphere is upbeat and feel-good with expressive music and colourful decoration.
There are plenty of staff around to assist, we had several waiters checking up on us to ensure everything was okay throughout the meal. The spacious main room is ideal for large groups and the attentive service means you are unlikely to be forgotten, service is quick and efficient. It is worth noting too that on Tuesdays Camino have Tapita Tuesday from 5-8pm, you receive a complimentary small tapa when you order any drink from the bar.
The menu is made up of all the typical traditional tapas dishes: strong vibrant flavours, lots of meat, fish and fresh vegetables to choose from. We tried a range of the small plates on offer. Our waiter suggested 3-4 per person, we opted for seven to share which suited our appetite perfectly.
Pan Con Tomate: Coca bread with garlic, tomato, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt £3.25
Escalivada: Charcoal-grilled shallot, red pepper and aubergine with sea salt and olive oil £4.50
Chipirones a la Andaluza: Crisp-fried baby squid with alioli and lemon £5.75
Chorizo: Riojan chorizo with roasted piquilli peppers £4.75
Solomillo: 5oz fillet steak with Cabrales cream sauce and roasted winter vegetables £15.75
Manchego: Pasterized ewes’ cheese with sweet and nutty flavour, with quince jelly £4.25
Jamon Pata Negra (36 months): Hand-carved ham from acorn-fed Iberico black pigs, free to roam in the oak forests £12.75
Interestingly I preferred the simpler dishes… the tomato bread was wonderfully light, slightly grilled spritzed with olive oil and topped with lovely finely chopped marinated tomato. Chorizo with peppers was grilled and seasoned to perfection and the Manchego was exquisitely fresh and delicious. We found the fried squid a little bland but the grilled shallots and aubergines were surprisingly yummy, especially with a sprinkling of salt. The fillet steak was lean and full of flavour, served withcaramelised chopped vegetables and a heavenly rich and creamy sauce.
Fine Spanish wines are available to pair with your food, but if you are really in a Spanish mood, I’d opt for a glass of sherry to add a little sweetness to the meal.
After our tapas feast we skipped pudding, though the crispy churros served with dense hot chocolate did almost manage to persuade me!
I can imagine this restaurant will be a great addition to Monument in the summer months, but even when the weather is so freezing outside, the warm character of Camino has a very appealing allure.
More information here.