Restaurants & Bars: Restaurant Reviews

Drakes Tabanco

They're bringing sherry back!


Opening hours

Mon-Fri: 12-11pm
Sat: 12.30-11pm
Sun: Closed


3 Windmill Street, W1T 2HY

More info


Anyone who’s been to Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia knows the deal: moments from Goodge Street, a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, and slightly more refined than its Soho neighbour.


Meant to imitate a sherry tavern in Jerez; and it does. And with the legs of jamon, rustic tables, and dark beams, we’re ready to pack our bags, again. The front bar feels like it was built for first dates and intimate chatter. Sherry is served straight from the barrel, giving the place its own identity, distinct from its siblings Copita and Barrica, while the charcuterie station at the back adds ambience to the brightly lit restaurant.


Brought to you by Tim Luther and Nigel Howell, expect a 101 in all things Andalusian, starting with sherry. Lesson one? Banish thoughts of grandma on Christmas day. The by-the-barrel sherries range from the dry amontillado to the super sweet pedro ximénez with even a rare palo cortado, but our favourite is the nutty and dry oloroso, which has enough flavour to stand on its own but is the perfect accompaniment to savoury charcuterie platters. The food, which is mostly tapas, steers away from the patatas bravas camp and instead opts for more original, traditional Andalusian dishes. Our tip: get the sherry matching tasting menu, starting with the charcuterie platter with samples of Iberico pork tongue, cured sardines, mackerel pate, salmon gravad lax, which are all delicious (the pickled cockles will divide opinions). Meat-wise, we had the braised pig’s cheeks and rolled lamb breast with lentils and rosemary. Both were done to perfection: the pig was melt-in-your-mouth and the lamb’s crispy skin had a subtle crunch. For dessert, the vanilla ice cream with raisins drowned in pedro ximénez is a new favourite.


The tabanco is divided into three contrasting sections. The bar is intimate and cave-like, with dim lighting, dark wood and aromatic smells thanks to the aged barrels behind the bar. The restaurant is brightly lit with white walls and close-knit tables, and lastly, the charcuterie station features a curved bar with stools allowing for diners to eat, chat and peer into the goings-on of the dry kitchen.


For those new to the sherry game, Drakes Tabanco is a must.

Originally published on
31st October 2013


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