London: tapas at Rambla, Soho


The summer is always really hectic for me, especially since I go home to Sweden for two weeks in August, and that’s why this blog post is so late; I’ve been playing catch-up since then.


The last week in July is also extra busy because it’s both my own and my dear friend Gaby’s birthdays that week. Just before I go home!

The Friday night was Gaby’s night (and her actual birthday) so after doing my last errands for my trip it was so lovely to arrive to Rambla in Soho and have a nice dinner with the girls!

Rambla is a fairly new tapas restaurant in London, with mainly Catalan food and we were all very excited to try it!


We started with bubbles – always appropriate when there’s a birthday to celebrate! The cava was really nice, so I recommend you all to think of something to celebrate when you go here. IMG_2096.jpg

Then we ordered a bunch of dishes for all five of us to share around the table. First off were the classic padron pappers. They never disappoint with their saltiness!


Next we had these delicious croquetas with spinach and pine nut. Yum!


And chorizo! It was all about the classics to start.


Then we feasted on crispy fried artichokes with saffron aioli and the most tender octopus with fried garlic and herb sauce. Delicious! I so love to eat this way; picking from plates, trying little bites of everything while chatting away with friends sipping cava.


One of the favourites of the evening was this hearty and cheesy (yum!) oxtail canelones with navat cheese and caramelised onions. Drool!


The birthday girl divided it evenly, although I think most of us would happily have had one each. But it was too rich. Especially since we had more yummy cheese to eat…


This whole baked Navat cheese with crudités and bread to dip was divine too! We were scraping the bottom of the dish in the end, never letting a morsel of good cheese go to waste.


The classic patatas bravas arrived late as an after thought (I think they forgot them to be honest) but we happily mucnhed our way through these lovely crisp potato bites.

The food here is excellent (especially the octopus and the oxtail canalones!) but the service was a bit of a let down. Some things were forgotten and we had to keep reminding the waiters. After two bottles of cava they didn’t have any more cold ones so we had to swap to rosé cava instead. It’s all little things, but things you expect to run smoothly, and since it was a birthday celebration it was very unfortunate.

With this in mind I’ll still highly recommend Rambla – the food is worth it! – and hopefully they’ve sorted out these kinks by now. Race you to the baked cheese?!

Rambla, 64 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 4QG

Calamari with chipotle mayonnaise and padrón peppers

My last house guest; childhood friend Therése, likes both tapas and calamari, so it was along those lines I was thinking when deciding what to have as a starter when she came to stay.

I have written about homemade calamari here before, and I repeat: so good, so cheap! And one can’t have calamari without some kind of dipping sauce, preferably mayo. I like to try different flavours on mayonnaise and this chipotle version was a winner. It worked really well with the paprika-seasoned calamari but also with the padrón peppers I picked up from Waitrose.

These peppers are fairly mild in flavour, but approximately 1 out of 10 can be quite spicy. I love these prepared in the simple manner of frying in plenty of olive oil and seasoned with plenty of sea salt. We had all this and some crusty bread to start, and it would be enough as a light supper really. We were pretty full when moving on to the maincourse.

Chipotle mayonnaise, serves 2

1 egg yolk – at room temperature

150 ml neutral oil 

1/2 lemon, the juice

1 tsp chipotle paste


Beat the egg yolk with an electric whisk while slowly adding the oil, first drop by drop, then gradually more and more so it emulsifies and gets thick. Once you’ve added all the oil you should have a thick mayonnaise. Season with the lemon juice, chipotle paste and salt.