Bar Kroketa

Carnaby, London, 09-06-2023

A simple display of food, wine and menus upon entering Bar Kroketa

A hidden gem of a tapas restaurant in Soho

The entrance invites you in to experience the diverse and bold flavours of Spain.

Greeted by a beautiful laid-out display of classic Spanish temptation; the space is thoughtfully designed to create an intimate and inviting atmosphere.

Industrial lighting casts a warm glow across the dusky pink plaster walls while linen curtains subtly diffuse the view to the Soho alleyway, adding a cosy domestic flair.

The eclectic combination of traditional wooden chairs, with rustic timber shelves and handwritten blackboard menus, add a touch of authenticity and Spanish charm to an otherwise paired back and muted colour palette. 

While the inviting front bar area boasts warm earth tones reminiscent of Spain, walking through into the main dining area at the back the interior environment changed with the use of polished plaster, a change to cooler tones and fewer Spanish accents. As designers, we felt there's an opportunity here for them to think about their intended aesthetic and general atmosphere in this area.

While we devoured the delicious food, we also felt perhaps an opportunity for adding character and personality in the choice of tableware. The plates are plain so the food stands out but in the simplicity, a small touch of sophistication could be added here. 

However, while these design opportunities exist, the food coming out of the kitchen delivered the wonderful, warm Spanish flavours we were looking for. Whether you're a traditionalist or an adventurous eater, there is something to please every palate. For us, the stars of the show are, predictably, the moreish croquetas; the Black Squid Ink with Aioli and the Piquillo Pepper & Manchego werw supberb, striking the perfect & delicate balance between smoothness and a subtle crunch, and wowing with their flavours.

Alongside the croquetas, the crab toastie was certainly one of the favourite dishes among us but the addictive Guinness chorizo popcorn took us by surprise (sharing advised) and made a great accompaniment to the small plates. This time we kept our lunch a sober one, but we will definitely be coming back in the evening for one (or three) of their playful cocktails!

Whilst the decor at the back doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the delicious Kroketas, Bar Kroketa overall manages to exude a sense of refinement and elegance whilst maintaining its modern identity, providing a delightful tapas experience and adding a touch of Spanish sophistication to the vibrant Soho dining scene.