We arrive at Eyre Brothers with really high hopes.
“I’m still convinced that Iberico pork is in a whole different league”
For me, ‘grilled pork’ at a place called ‘Eyre brothers’ had conjured up an image of a stuffy old-time city steakhouse with besuited middle-aged salarymen chomping down on expensive expense-account lunches. On looking at the website, therefore, I was very pleasantly surprised that, in spite of the name, Eyre Brothers is actually a Spanish restaurant – in fact, another in a run of tapas joints on Time Out’s list. And the grilled pork? Not a slab of Germanic gristle, but an Iberico pork steak, of the sort that at Fino I struggled to believe had not come from a cow. So expectations were raised.
I’m still convinced that Iberico pork is in a whole different league, and as succulent, tender and delicious as the best beef steak. I’m still convinced it must be cooked rare, and needs minimal seasoning. The trouble was, that’s as far as they seem to go at Eyre Brothers. Sure, people – including me – frequently demand that chefs don’t get in the way of letting their first-rate ingredients shine. As a tapa nestled among a tableful of other tasty morsel, simply-grilled pork would be outstanding. But costing £21 served atop some fried sliced potatoes? It left me a little cold. Everything it had going for it was the deliciousness of one ingredient, which tells me more about the restaurant’s shopping-strategies than the chef.
Maybe I’m just not an (expensive) steak and chips guy, or maybe I had set the bar too high. Or maybe I just love tapas too much to go to a Spanish restaurant and settle for a single large dish, no matter how delicious the central element is.