El Pirata of Mayfair is an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant. I love authentic Spanish tapas and tapas style restaurants so I was very enthusiastic about dinner at El Pirata of Mayfair. I’m also on the quest to find the best Spanish Tapas in London, and, of less priority, the world… as evidenced by our Foodie Adventures in Barcelona where we ate a ton of tapas! 😁
Back to London, Mayfair to be exact… El Pirata claims to be the best tapas restaurant in Mayfair… very well.
El Pirata is somewhat of a hidden gem off Piccadilly. The vibe of the restaurant is authentic Spanish, with simple but elegant black furnishing, beautiful paintings adorning the walls, and a stunning bar. There are also tables downstairs, but we didn’t get to see much more of it beyond what we could see from our table upstairs.
What we ordered
Shiima really loved the menu because there was a good number of chicken dishes, and, if you don’t know, she only eats chicken (occasionally beef in a burger 😂. Our service was very professional and helpful, taking time to describe the dishes to us, which helped us decide.
We ordered pan con tomato, croquetas de jamon, and croquetas de pollo from little bites. Gambas al pil pil from seafood. Chicken wings in spicy sauce and vuelta de carne from Meats. And chorizo criollo and tuna tartare from Chef Special menu.
Both croquetas were good, but I much preferred the jamon Iberica (pork) croquetas. They were very delicious and one of the best croquetas I’ve ever eaten in London (look at me, sounding all worldly 😂).
The pan con tomato was the best we’ve ever had anywhere! And this has a lot to do with the bread. It was perfectly soft and delicious, but still the perfect texture to hold up well with the rich tomato topping. Tremendous!
Gambas al pil pil is prawns in sizzling spicy olive oil. This was another tremendous dish. The prawns were fresh and delicious, but the spicy olive oil elevated the prawns to another dimension giving it much more depth of flavour and spice.
This is seemingly becoming a theme, but the chicken wings were tremendous too. Fall of the bone succulent wings in a deep and well spiced sauce. Only problem was it was only three wings… but then it’s tapas.
I wasn’t a fan of the vuelta de carne (theme busted, I suppose). It was pan fried steak medallions with red peppers and white wine… and I don’t know if it’s because I don’t drink alcohol, but I wasn’t a fan of the sauce. The steak medallions were pleasantly cooked, but I didn’t particularly enjoy them either.
Chorizo Criollo is plain grilled chorizo, but these didn’t resemble or taste like any chorizo I’m used to. It had no heat, no paprika. It was just like regular sausage but then I searched criollo sausage and it’s Argentinian Chorizo. So I suppose it has a different flavour, which I’m not entirely a fan of.
There really is much to say about the tuna tartare. All the elements of the dish were present and recognisable in regards to taste, particularly the fresh tuna and avocado but there wasn’t much else to the dish. It was fairly unexceptional.
We were still hungry at this point. Well, I was lol. So I decided to order the baby eel and roasted potatoes in spicy olive and Shiima ordered padding peppers.
Shiima’s pardon peppers were as she expected. Well done and enjoyable. I wasn’t as pleased with my baby eel though. I got the dish because of how much I loved the prawns in spicy olive oil, but these weren’t as spicy and the eels didn’t really have much of a taste. The roasted potatoes were excellent though, and I rarely enjoy potatoes.
No. Shiima and I wanted to share a hot dessert and all they had on their dessert menu was profiteroles, which Shiima doesn’t like at all.
We enjoyed our dinner at El Pirata of Mayfair. The vibe is authentic and casual, the service is professional, and the food is mostly excellent. I can concur that it’s the best tapas restaurant in Mayfair… but then it’s the only been tapas restaurant I’ve been to in Mayfair. I recommend for casual dates, and relaxed tapas with friends, family, or colleagues. El Pirata is also moderately priced.
Cuisine: Spanish Tapas
Dress Code: Casual
Shiima’s Star Dish: Pan Con Tomato
Amen’s Star Dish: Gambas al Pil Pil
Rating: 4 out of 5
El Pirata of Mayfair
5-6 Down Street, Mayfair
London, W1J 7AQ
Call 0207 491 3810 to book.