Tapete restaurant review

Interior view of Tapete restaurant

Tapete is a new tapas bar and restaurant which opened in June at 119 Grove Lane, the site of the former Buddha Jazz (and, some 13 or so years ago, another tapas restaurant the name of which escapes me). I’ve eaten there twice in the past month, and can recommend it.

The interior layout hasn’t changed drastically, but has been given a fittingly Spanish‐style redecoration. They’ve also refreshed the outdoor decking area which is perfect in this heatwave. Over all, Tapete feels modern, warm, and welcoming—and the staff match that description too.

I’d describe the food as classic, or typical, tapas; from albóndigas to boquerones to croquetas, all the dishes you know and love are on the menu. It’s all freshly cooked and really well made. They also serve paella made to order (with a 30‐or‐so minute wait), which seems very popular from my observations.

The wine list is entirely Spanish, and one of the few things I think would improve Tapete is if they offered more variety of wine by the glass—right now your choices are house red or white.

The other suggestion I’d make is for them to offer regular specials—the menu is fixed, and while that’s mostly not a problem it would be more of an incentive to return regularly if there were some seasonal variety.

But those are really just additions I’d like to see, not negative marks. In all, I’m very happy with this new addition to the area and wish it plenty of success.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

9 thoughts on “Tapete restaurant review”

  1. There was also a business called Rocket80 on that site, then it might have been something else for a bit before it became BuddhaJazz. I’d completely forgotten about Chibchas!

  2. We went there a few weeks ago. The food is very good tapas and really enjoyed them.

    The staff are very friendly too.

    However, not sure about the decor or the menu design. It’s a bit 90’s!

    Would love to see a more varied wine list with a bit more choice of sherries and manzanilla and the like.

    But will be back. Especially if we get another hot evening.

  3. Is The Bear dead? They were supposed to be reopening ‘mid 2018’, but the building is still a complete mess, Twitter feed completely dead, website defunct.… Real shame if so, as it had just gotten into its stride under the new owners when it had to close.

    Isn’t it the same team behind The Fox in Haggerston? I note that the Fox has also had to close recently, for exactly the same reasons as the The Bear (renovations to the upstairs part of the building by the landlord). Seems extremely bad luck, and doesn’t bode well.

  4. The owners of the building of the Bear wanted to renovate the building and build flats upstairs. It was originally thought that they were going to reopen the bar at the end of this. However, I walked passed and spoke to a builder the other day. He told me that even downstairs is going to be flats.

    I looked on the planning website about this. I think the pub co were rather cheeky about this and rather than naming it the Bear, they put planning applications under the name “Jack Beard”.

    The planning application does suggest, however, that there will still be a bar and the kitchen has been moved downstairs to the basement.

    https://planning.southwark.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for case: 17/AP/0627

    I love the bear and to think that all the features were ripped out is criminal but at least I hope that the Bear will live on.

    1. Cheers.

      Those documents clearly specify “retained public house”. “JACK BEARDS” is the name of the pub that used to be in the premises, right? Hmm. I don’t think the application is anything to do with a “pub co” though? At least I was under the impression that The Bear was a “free house”, although clearly not a free house with freehold…

      What’s weird is the complete silence from The Bear themselves. Not one update since the day they closed.

  5. Yeah, looking at the plans it seems just the area that was the gents toilets will be made bicycle storage and utility room for the flats behind, with the pub remaining mostly the same as it is now (the gents’ will move to where the ladies’ are, and the little courtyard out the back will be the new ladies’). But major change seems to be the kitchen from upstairs to downstairs. No idea of any dates for completion, haven’t heard a peep.

  6. Hi Peter, we’re having our first flamenco show at Tapete Restaurant and it’s FREE entrance. Please can you share this information? It’s next Sunday 28th of October at 4.30 pm THANKS!

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