Review: Bottomless Brunch at Camino
I'd been looking forward to trying Bad Egg's bottomless brunch for weeks - I made sure I booked a slot ages ago and put it in my diary. Sadly when it came to leaving I realised I'd put the wrong time in my diary and we had in fact missed the brunch... well done Meg... With a quick search of where else could fit us in last minute around the same price, we ended up at Camino so I thought I'd review that instead.
I'm a huge lover of tapas, mainly thanks to my half Spanish, half Colombian partner who introduced me to the wonders of great tapas when I moved to London. We've been to Camino before for dinner, which I rated, but I hadn't realised that they do brunch, and not just any brunch - bottomless brunch!
We booked in at Camino Bankside which is behind the Tate (but thankfully out of the crowds of tourists). When we got there we were greeted by a somewhat empty restaurant but super friendly staff who offered us our pick of seats outside in the sunshine. The plants and colourful cushions combined with the sunshine immediately made us feel like we were on holiday.
On the weekends they serve their normal menu as well as a £30pp bottomless brunch. The bottomless drinks options are bottomless cava or mimosas. We went for mimosas and were pleased to find that the orange juice was all freshly squeezed. The brought over a jug of the fresh OJ ready for you to mix to your liking with your generous glass of cava, which was topped up (without asking) regularly - something I've found to be rare with bottomless offerings!
Included in the £30 you get 3 tapas plates each from a menu of around 15-20 items. The choices on the menu were actually better than I'd expected - I hate it when restaurants just put the really basic/cheap items on set menus! For our six dishes we chose padron peppers, traditional Spanish tortilla, Arzúa-Ulloa fritters, arroz negro, baby calamari and patatas bravas.
The padron peppers were good and the tortilla was lovely and slightly gooey in the middle (but not as good as my partner's parents' tortilla, so I had pretty high standards for this one!). I hadn't realised that Arzúa-Ulloa is actually a protected-origin cheese that comes from my partner's area of Galicia in Spain - the fritters were lovely and melted in the middle but the "sticky tomato jam" that they came with was weirdly heavy on cinnamon for my liking and didn't quite go in my opinion. The baby calamari were nice but nothing mind-blowing, I'm not sure I'd bother with them again, but the patatas bravas were perfectly crispy and saucy and a generous portion in comparison to the usual size you get.
Arroz negro is a favourite of ours. If you've not had it before (I hadn't before moving to London), it's a black rice, almost like a paella, usually with chunks of squid or cuttlefish and flavoured with the ink. It's the most deliciously rich and silky texture when it's done right. The arroz negro today was great, not a patch on Barrafina's and not quite as good as when we last visited Camino for dinner, but still very tasty and rich nonetheless.
I'm not going to lie, being the greedy eyed hungry brunch-goer that I was, I didn't think that 3 tapas plates each was going to fill us up when I first got there but actually by the time we'd finished the 6 plates between us we were feeling quite full. Not full enough to stop me going for dessert though, obviously.
Last time I went to Camino I ordered the churros with the chocolate sauce. If I'm honest the churros themselves are nice but nothing to write home about and in my opinion quite a small portion (you only get 4 sticks) with too much icing sugar, but the chocolate pot they come with is so lovely that we ordered two portions anyway and ate the rest of the chocolate pots with a spoon.
Despite it not being the brunch we had planned for today, I was really pleasantly surprised and would definitely return. The service was really attentive and I felt that the bottomless brunch was good value with a decent amount of choice. So far I think it's only the Bankside branch of Camino which offers the brunch but the fact that it's so near to Southbank whilst being so quiet and tourist-free with the added bonus of outdoor seating in the sunshine, made it all the more relaxing.
Nearest tube: Southwark or London Bridge, both are easily walkable.