I was pleased to see Serrano Manchego open, a few weeks ago, after an extensive amount of effort to convert it from the previous pub premises, on the corner of Leith Walk and Dalmeny Street.
I was joined by Jane, a regular guest quester, fluent Spanish speaker, and recent visitor to Spain. Basically, she was in charge of what we ate, today.
The time they have spent renovating has been entirely worth it. The stripped back interior is impressively smart and we were both quite taken with the high stool seating. There are comfy low chairs and outdoor seating options, too.
Ordering was at the bar, so there wasn’t much for us to judge on service beyond the initial welcome, which was warm, and the speed of delivery, which was prompt.
From their good array of choices, Jane chose the pan tumaca (tomato-topped bread), the croquetas of the day, which were blue cheese (there were aubergine or pancetta options, too), padron peppers, chorizo, Russian salad, and a wedge of tortilla. This turned out to be just about the right amount of food for us.
The typically moreish padron peppers and delicious chorizo were the highlights. The tortilla was ordinary, the croquetas decent, and the pan tumaca eluded my appreciation.
We rounded things out with coffees, but these weren’t up to much.
So overall, Serrano Manchego is a lovely place serving good quality grub. There’s room for improvement, and they could use another couple of “killer dishes” to go alongside their impressive chorizo, but they’re beginning their journey from a good starting point. We look forward to visiting again.
I loved the design of the interior, a nice variety of seating options, especially the gorgeous bar stools.
On reflection, it was really quite authentically Spanish, down to ordering at the bar and the little napkin boxes on the table, which is the norm across tapas places in Spain. I especially liked the table numbering, too.
The menu was good. Not overly complicated and featured what you would expect to see on a typical tapas menu. Reasonably priced too. My only disappointment was the lack of seafood, but the emphasis seemed to be northern Spain, where gambas and sepia and the like are less widely eaten, from what I remember.
The pan tumaca (pan con tomate, or bread with tomato) was just right for me. It’s one of my favourite things to eat in Spain, and it had the perfect balance of tomato, oil and salt.
The tortilla was firm and tasty, and a very good size portion. Padron peppers were equally tasty, although I prefer them a bit bigger, saltier and there was none of the Russian roulette spicy element.
Croquetas with blue cheese were not to my taste, but I appreciated the authenticity. Often, the croquetas you get in tapas bars in Edinburgh are limp and lacking in flavour.
The chorizo a la plancha stood out the most. It was sweet, spicy and an excellent dipping partner for bread… the soggier the better!
The cortado wasn’t great, but it was fine. I’d definitely go back to try more dishes and sample some of the wine.
Blythe scores Serrano Manchego
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
Jane scores Serrano Manchego
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
Today’s questers were: Jane, Blythe
We ate: pan tumaca, blue cheese croquetas, padron peppers, chorizo a la plancha, insalata rusa, tortilla
We drank: water, espresso, cortado
We wore: stripes
Total bill: £23.50