104 Bermondsey Street, (corner Leathermarket St), London, SE1 3UB, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20-7403 4902
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat noon-10:30pm; Sun noon-5:30pm
Door: Go early
Style: Tapas bar
Recommended for: Aperitivos, Food, Fun/atmosphere, Wine
Price guide: Middling
Food: Plates & dishes
Owned by: José Pizarro
Images By: diffordsguide.com
José is a wonderfully authentic-feeling sherry and tapas bar occupies a tiny corner shop mid-way up Bermondsey Street.
As well as hailing from the home of sherry, owner José Pizarro was formally chef at nearby Brindisa in Borough Market so expect superb tapas to perfectly complement a small but well-chosen range of wine and sherry. Ask the friendly staff for pairing recommendations such as freshly cooked clams with the saltiness of manzanilla, richer palo cortado with more meaty dishes. Chefs busily operate behind the marble bar counter satisfying orders from the two chalk boards displaying the day's menu.
The list carries four finos, two manzanillas, three palo cortados, two amontillados, four olorosos, two pedro ximenez and two moscatels. There are about ten red and white wines and a couple of rose and cava - all available by the glass or the bottle. There's one beer, Alhambra Especial, on tap with complimentary filtered still and sparkling water.
Such is the quality of food that patrons wait patiently for one of the few bar stools at the narrow marble counters that run around the brick walls and windows which look out onto Bermondsey Street, other make do with standing, the food's that good.