Ultracomida have now channelled these same principles into their first venture in Cardiff, Curado Bar.
A former Burger King, the building is the perfect place for a deli-tapas bar as the long thin room has a bar running its length. Grab a stool or find a space to stand (we did) and get ordering.
There’s a great selection of booze for you to work way through. We were on the beer and drank 200ml cañas of easy-drinking house Curado beer (£2), refreshing Er Boqueron (£3) made with seawater, caramel twanged Toro (£3) and bottles of Keler (£2.80).
The menu is divided into three – pintxos (little snacks served on bread), deli plates and cooked dishes from the kitchen.
A pintxo (£2) of crisp bread topped with soft, paprika-rich sobrasada drizzled with sweet honey was a very good start.
Pan con Tomate (£3) was everything it should be – two huge slices of fresh toast topped with sweet tomatoes, a good drizzle of olive oil and a hint of garlic.
A cheeseboard (£6) saw nutty aged manchego, underwhelming young manchego, a enjoyably sock-like brie-esque cheese and a wonderfully savoury blue cheese. The accompaniments kicked ass too – rosemary topped crispbreads, wobbly sweet quince jelly and slices of compressed fig and walnut.
A board of jamon bodega gran reserve (£5) was heaped with meat. It wasn’t the most mouth-melting example but it was well flavoured. I’ll have to give the Iberico ham (£12) a go next time…
Excellent patatas bravas (£4) saw golden paprika-spiked potatoes served with pots of super-spicy and smokey brava sauce and romance-killing garlic mayonnaise.
Chorizo and red wine stew (£6) was packed with moreish fingers of sausage but the sauce was too oily to make the use of the accompanying spoon an enticing prospect.
A well-crusted blushing pink fillet of tender Iberico pork (£6) was marinated lightly in garlic and thyme. The lovely piece of meat was served with another pot of that potent garlic mayo and grilled padron peppers.
A slice of egg-rich, not too sweet baked Galician cheesecake (£6) with a little urn of cream was a good end to the meal.
We had a cracking evening at Curado Bar. It’s authentic Spanish buzz, good booze selection and hearty Spanish cooking are all to be commended. And, our bill for two including eight small beers came to £50 so it’s good value too.
With the excellent Bar 44 just down the street, Cardiff now has the makings of a first rate tapas crawl.
Address - Curado Bar, Westgate Street, Cardiff CF10 1EB
Telephone - 029 2034 4336