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Mar I Terra

Restaurant and Bar Espanyol
Blackfriars
14 Gambia Street
London SE1 0XH

Tel.: 020 7928 7628

This Tapas bar, just off Blackfriars, was pointed out to me by my boss as a place to get a decent meal at most times of the day, and at a reasonable price.

I thought he just wanted to keep my expenses bill down, but when I first ventured in a few weeks back, I was pleasantly surprised.

My meeting had overrun, and it was late afternoon. I didn't really expect there to be much in the way of food or ambience.

The place wasn't full, but there were a couple of diners, and the staff were friendly and efficient. They don't take credit cards for less than 10.00, and I realised that I had very little cash on me, so I had to "make a meal of it"!!

Start with a dish of bread and olives and a San Miguel. Followed by Patatas Bravas and a dish of chillies stuffed with crab meat.

This is really good, the bread is good, the olives are good, the patatas are very good and the chillies even better. One small problem was that at the time I had just broken a tooth, and even a tiny bit of crab shell caused me considerable pain when I bit it! My problem, not theirs.

On a second visit a couple of weeks ago (26th July 2001) in similar circumstances, the weather was very hot and their specials board offered Gazpacho Andaluz - given the heat, I had to try it.

A very large bowl arrived, and looked suitable impressive. I have to admit that it wasn't entirely to my taste - I had expected the tomato flavour to come to the fore a little more than it did. This was followed by a dish of Ham Croquettes.Together with a beer, Bread and Olive Oil and a coffee, the bill came to 13.10

Altogether, another pleasant experience. So much so that, on a trip to London this past weekend (10th August 2001) with my wife, I took her along to Mar I Terra.

The weather was again quite warm, and we arrived just before one o'clock. The restaurant was quite busy, but there were a couple of tables left. The waitress asked us if we would prefer to sit in the garden out back. We had a look, but there was no one else there and Marg is always wary of wasps, so we elected to sit inside.

We weren't very hungry, so we shared a dish of patatas bravas and a dish of albondigas after a basket of rather good french bread and a small dish of olive oil with a dash of balsamic vinegar to dip into.

The potatoes and the meatballs were excellent - even Marg noticed the pine nut kernels in the meatballs!

The only disappointment was the jug of Sangria we ordered - it was hot, and we were thirsty. Apparently the management knew this, because just after we ordered, he increased the price - from 14.50 to 15.00! Now, Marg makes a pretty good Sangria - even to the extent that we use the Cuarenta Y Tres liquer we brought back from Menorca - and although what we received was refreshing, it certainly wasn't value for money or better or more authentic than Marg makes at home. A small failing, and it won't stop me returning.

Recommended.

Sandro and Marg

 

Eatanddrink Ratings

Mar I Terra

Total Score: 74%
Quality: Good
Service: Exceptional
Facilities: Average
Ambience: Average
Value: Good

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On The Menu

Fish & Seafood
Meat, Poultry & Game
Wines & Spirits
Beers & Lagers
Tea & Coffee
Cheese & Dairy
Herbs, Spices, Aromatics & Colourings
Chocolate, Sweets & Candy

 

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Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
(William Hazlitt)

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