Empowering women is a mission close to my heart and the amazing female designers on emma & louise are a true testimony to this. There are of course many areas where women are making their mark and being recognised for their talent and skills. Professional kitchens are one of those areas. The London restaurant scene has been buzzing for many years and female chefs such as Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of the “River Cafe” paved the way for future stars. Recently, a few new female pioneers have entered centre stage and I have had the pleasure of dining at some their restaurants.
Sabor- Nieves Barragan
I have always loved Spanish food. The concept of Tapas and sharing really appeals to me. Maybe it is because I can be indecisive and love to try many different things? It is the perfect solution for a group of friends with the same love of food. The items on the menu at Sabor were so mouth-watering that it was hard to make a choice…The Tomato Salad was bursting with ripeness and flavour, the Chiperones (an all-time favourite) were crispy and delicious and the Suckling Pig was moist, tender and out-of-this-world scrumptious.
Sabor is located in a small hub off of Regent Street. Heddon Street was buzzing with young crowds out for a drink or a night out. At the far end, the restaurant greeted us with a colourful awning and enticing music. Sabor is a relatively small restaurant on two levels. On the ground floor, “The Counter” overlooks the chefs cooking up a storm, and offers a menu of fresh fish alongside regional dishes from across Spain, including those from the Basque country and Catalonia. If you journey up the spiral staircase to the first floor, “El Asador” invites you to sit at large communal tables overlooking the open kitchen. We chose El Asador and loved the ambiance, atmosphere and gorgeous aromas coming from the kitchen.
From the start we were impressed by the level of service as well as the cheerful and friendly staff. Our waitress was very knowledgeable, eager to share her favourite tapas and collegial in her attitude and demeanour. I wanted to invite her to our table! It is also clear that Nieves Barragan is a creative and passionate chef. She surrounds herself with a talented and laid back team, making the whole experience relaxed and friendly. The whole evening felt like being invited to dinner with close family. Nieves came to our table midway through our meal and made sure that we were enjoying ourselves – another sign of an attentive and caring chef.
The evening was perfect in every regard. I would return to Sabor in a second and explore new dishes which I did not get a chance to sample the first time around. That is the beauty of Sabor: the food, the setting and the service beckon you to come back again and again.