Sitting pretty in the heart of the city, I decided to investigate whether or not Camino Monument offered up a dining experience as impressive as its enviable locale.
Spoiler Alert - it was muy bueno.
Rolling up at 7pm on a Friday night, Camino was already in full swing. The afterwork crowd were kick-starting their weekend with a bit of continental carousing - tucking into jugs of sangria and hip-swinging on the dancefloor. And the interior was equally Iberian. Sporting high ceilings, low-hanging lights and a lively bar surrounded by high leather stalls, Camino boasts an undeniable air of 'Catalonian cool'. As we were here for food, we were promptly whisked away from the busy bar area and taken into a more tranquil dining space. Tapas time.
Food and Drinks
If you’re like me, a fully fledged sufferer of the incurable disease known as ‘food envy’, tapas is pretty much the closest thing to heaven. My plus one and I tucked into five dishes between us, and every single one had my taste buds doing double dashes. First to come out were the Gambas Ajillo (Prawns with garlic, chilli, white wine - £9.50), Empanadillas (Pastries filled with pumpkin, sage and Torta de la Serena cheese - £5.50) and the Arzua ulloa (Cheese fritters with tomato jam - £5.50). The Empanadillas and the Arzua ulloa satiated our stomach rumblings, but best of all here was the prawns - served up in a sizzling dish and drenched in a delicious sauce that packed a delectable, garlicky punch. Out swiftly after came the Presa Iberica (£12.50) and Patatas Bravas (£4.50). The latter is, of course, a tapas staple - as good as expected. Unquestionably though, the best dish was the shoulder of pig. Served ‘medium rare’ (as per the chef’s suggestion), the dish exploded with flavour before melting in your mouth - divine.
In terms of the tipples, we quenched our cocktail cravings with an expertly-mixed Mojito Granadino each (£8.25). This came served with pomegranate seeds, mint and lime - all noticeably fresh, giving it that refreshing zing. To follow, we opted to stick true to our roots with a London NO.1 Gin and Tonic each (£9.75). These came served in quintessential Spanish style - large glass, even larger measures, lots of ice and a perfectly garnished - lemon and black pepper in this case.
Simply put, this is some of the best, most authentic tapas that you’ll find in the capital.
Atmosphere and Clientele
Camino Monument has a unquestionable air of Spanish gusto - brimming with excitement and effervescence. Whether you’re popping in for quick lunch before heading back to work or settling in for a lengthy date night dinner, you can be sure that this Iberian eatery will be brimming with life - whilst this makes for an awesome atmosphere, it also means that you should probably book a table in advance - just to be safe.
Much like every other facet of this venue, the staff here are authentically Spanish too - all fluent in the lingo. More importantly, they were all genuinely welcoming, full of suggestions and extremely attentive (without ever being too in your face). A lovely bunch.
Boasting a menu that’s brimming with flavour, an atmosphere that replicates the bustle of Barcelona, and a team of staff who are genuinely lovely, Camino Monument is a no brainer when it comes to tapas in London - top of la liga!