Jul 19 2022

El Norte Review: London Restaurant Bring Classy Spanish Dining to the Heart of Mayfair

Dover Street is famous for its luxury shops and eateries and continuing the list of splendour venues is El Norte. Opened by Spanish twins Arian and Alberto Zandi, El Norte is a celebration of Spanish cuisine. The restaurant has undergone a six month renovation and it really shows with its classy indoor garden aesthetic. Just like their sister restaurants, Como Gardens and Zuaya, the interior is designed to bring an al fresco dining with comfortable dining booths encased in foliage.

The bar is completely separate to the restaurant and can almost operate as its own entity. The cocktails and wine menu are a complete experience in themselves, certainly an option to come for a drink at the bar on its own if you’re not feeling peckish.

Given its tapas format, the food arrives as soon as its ready which is a treat for big eaters. For our starters, we had El Norte’s now famous Tortilla de Trufa, which the perfect dish for truffle lovers. Its creamy and viscous texture give it an authentic truffle look but the flavours are even better as the interior mesh with the crispy exterior for a decadent taste in your mouth. In addition, we tried their Croquetas De Jamón which come with a tasty guacamole, the ham and cheese are cooked to perfection and work for a great opening dish. Elsewhere, we had classic crispy patatas bravas, topped with red pepper sauce and a big dollop of aioli with Pan Tumaca that are warm home-made toast with tomato & olive oil.

For the main side of our meal we had the Lubina Salvaje A La Riojana which is a scrumptious sea bass coated in sweet tomato & red pepper sauce. This was easily our favourite dish of the day, the sea bass was cooked to a supreme level and the flavours weren’t too harsh but blended nicely with the sauce. We also had their elevated paella that comes with pork. It was a non-traditional paella that included different spices and sauce to give a more global taste.

Given we were full we settled for dessert wines and green tea to settle our stomach. As we mentioned before, the bar is annexed to the point it can be a separate building, the cocktails available are absolutely divine. It’s easy to see that a lot of thought has gone into their cocktails which capture the different flavours and traditions of Spain. The quality of the alcohol used and the care that’s taken to make them. Our main recommendation is their espresso martini, which is easily the best we’ve had thus far.

As a whole, as you would expect with a restaurant based in Mayfair, El Norte isn’t cheap. As such, we would recommend customers to visit for special occasions whether it be celebratory drinks, anniversary dinners or a fancy dinning experience, El Norte has that for you.


19-20 Dover St, London, W1S 4LU

When’s best go?

Special occasions; birthday, anniversaries and celebrations


£85pp for three courses

Find out more here.

Words by Gerald Onyango

If I was a celebrity I'd be Will Smith. If I was an album I'd be The Low End Theory. My party trick is that I can tell you the year any rapper was born.