Glass enjoys Galician tapas at Southbank’s La Gamba

BRINGING sunny Spain to South Bank is La Gamba. The Galician inspired tapas restaurant, from the brothers behind Borough Market’s eponymous Applebee’s Fish, Jack, Harry & Matthew Applebee.

Here, guests can indulge in modern takes of traditional Spanish dishes.

La Gamba tapas dishes

Admiring the Spanish’s dedication to superb raw produce, huge flavours and sociable way of eating, La Gamba does not disappoint. The menu reflects the dishes and cooking techniques from the north-western corner of Galicia, with seafood dishes shining through the menu.

La Gamba. Photography by Rebecca Dickson

We arrive for dinner and are seated in the spacious terrace, where the restaurant looks onto beautiful views of the riverside. As we discuss our choices from the extensive menu, we guided through staple dishes to try by the team.

La Gamba tapas dishes

We start with a glass of Viognier Viura and choose a selection of nibbles to start: the Piemontes del padron (Padron Peppers) and Boquerones en vinagre (Anchovies) were a great way to lay the foundation of the flavours to come.

La Gamba sangria and tapas dishes

Quickly following the cold starters, arrive the Gambas al ajillo (Garlic King Prawns), Albondigas (Meatballs), Berenjena Asada (Roasted Aubergine) and Arroz de mariso (Seafood Rice) – they might be small dishes, but they certainly pack the punch.

Arroz de mariso. Photography by Rebecca Dickson

As recommended, the standout star was the Gambas al ajillo (Garlic King Prawns). Cooked in extra virgin olive oil with plenty of garlic, chilli & parsley, it’s hard to dislike a classic like this.

To finish, we decide to treat ourselves to some caramelised goodness, known to be originally created by the Catholic nuns. We are greeted with the evening sun just as our dessert arrives.

A hearty slice of Torrija Caramelizada – Spain’s answer to French toast. Made by soaking Brioche in milk with orange peel & cinnamon and served with vanilla ice cream, crumble and a toffee sauce.

Torrija Caramelizada

La Gamba’s Spanish flavours will have you thinking it’s always sunny on the South Bank, and I’ll know where to go when I next want to escape from the rain.

by Vivian Hui

La Gamba can be found at Royal Festival Hall, SE1 8XX.

To make a booking, please follow this link.

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