Donde Tapas



Continuing the discussion from The Clumsy Mole:

Donde returns!

The Clumsy Mole (Dec 2017 - Apr 2018)

Popped in on Friday and I have to say I was not overly impressed. Food and beer choices somewhat limited although what we had was nice enough - not outstanding but good enough. The staff seemed absent and I hate to sound like an old fogey but standing in the street chatting on your mobile is not a good look. It was quiet in there but we still had issues getting attention.
A mate with us had been several times before in the previous incarnation and felt a bit let down as it was his recommendation. It’s the little things like having no normal tonic for a g&t.
I give it another go but only just…


Why are you so negative at least they were willing to take your money be grateful :slight_smile:


I went there many years on my own. I was told that people usually went there with others which made me feel rather embarrassed, although the place was practically empty.

I would not go there again.


I’ve been in a few times lately - the food is much better than the previous tapas incarnation as I think there’s a new chef. Surprised to see so many negative comments, thought it was a nice and relaxed place for a bite to eat.


I don’t understand the negative comments. I go to Donde quite a lot and like the food. It’s SE23 and not the West End, you can’t expect that kind of West End slickness locally because restarateurs don’t have huge chains funding them. You have small operations on tight budgets trying to do their best for a local trade, and what you do have as a result is local idiosyncracy which I think should be celebrated, not criticised, I know what you mean about the service, but it’s not bad, just wave them over. The way to make it better is just to tell them politely. I also agree with one comment that the food is better than before - most definitely. They hsve a short wine and beer list to be sure, but they’re good (particualrly the wines), Don’t undertstand the negative comment about something that happened several years ago. Cut them some slack I say, and celebrate our local services, with all their particular kind of charms.


Recently visited and the Tapas offering was distinctly average. Food was served minutes after ordering suggesting it has been simply re-heated and was drenched in oil. Had high hopes but was very disappointed. All for supporting a local restaurant but food still needs to be served with some thought and attention. I’ll be sticking to Mama Dough for grub in HOP.


I agree that the food was disappointing on a recent visit. The food was basic and seemed reheated. Service was also not attentive. Toilets could also have been cleaner. These points need to be addressed otherwise I won’t be back.


It’s ridiculous to say you need the funding of a big chain to provide good service. The concept, decor, service and food at Donde is all 2nd rate and has totally failed to move with the times.

Mr Bao, Begging Bowl, Artusi, Jones Of Brockley are all local, independent and offer incredible food and service. It’s a shame that Honor Oak isn’t attracting the same level of innovative, interesting food options. Mama Dough is fine and Grounds & Grape is getting better, but it would be great to see some cool new entrepreneurs come in and replace Donde and Provender.


Saka Maka, Masala Wala Cafe and Bite mi. All good food too! If you venture down to Brockley.


I went to Miss Tapas in Peckham last night and the food was incredible. Far better than anything I had in Sitges a couple of months ago.


I’d love to be positive but after a visit to Donde last week I won’t be back. Calamari clearly frozen/tasteless, artichokes vinegary and greasy, none of the 5 dishes we had seemed fresh or as if they had been prepared with any passion or love. There’s no fresh stuff on the menu, it’s all reheated and bland. There’s clearly a market for some good, healthy, tasty food in HOP - why isn’t it happening?!


Wow, that is quite a leap. So you didn’t enjoy your Donde experience, ok, but this does not mean that the whole area is lacking “good, healthy, tasty food”. I think there is a market for more but was previously under the impression that Honor Oak is well served in this regard. What am I missing?


Ummm, of course it’s subjective, but “good, healthy, tasty food” to me is about freshness, lots of vegetables and fruit, very little cooked from frozen, little oil used - nice salads, good vegetarian/vegan options… Mamma Dough and The Chandos do good pizzas, and Babur is great (but expensive) - there’s nowhere that truly fits the bill for me, sadly.


Have you tried Le Querce? We’re always very happy when we eat there.


Have you tried any others? Le Querce, Two Spoons, Grounds and Grapes, Hattush, My Jammii, Norris and Knight … I realise subjective response also but if Babur is on your good list am not sure why these others wouldn’t be too.


Sorry gang, I’m clearly abnormally difficult to please - restaurants are basically my passion and I must’ve become a fusspot over the years. I have tried them all. I didn’t like La Querce when I tried it a year or so ago, but maybe should give it another go - I thought it was very overpriced - our bill was the same as Babur and menu/food quality not nearly as good. Grounds and Grapes does a good cheese platter and meat platter but not great for my yearned-for vegetables! Two Spoons is good for brunch but it’s not what I’d call a restaurant (and they don’t describe themselves as one either). Hattush is fine for what it is, but when we went the week before last, the salmon and prawns were definitely cooked from frozen and a bit dry/chewy… (that said, it’s probably my 2nd favourite place to eat in HOP after Babur though). My Jammii and Norris & Knight aren’t restaurants.

There are loads of places I do like, but they’re not in HOP! In Peckham, Banh Mi is great, as is Pedler, and they have several good gastropubs. Forest Hill has that nice Thai restaurant, there are a few good places in Brockley. My absolute favourites are Copita in Soho, Arthur Hopper’s in London Bridge/Borough Market, I also like Edwin’s in Borough… Several great places in Bermondsey - I love The Garrison… Mildred’s is a great veggie chain. There are LOADS of fantastic restaurants to go for delicious dinners in London - just none in HOP. IMHO.


I think @janelouise makes a fair point, and shouldn’t really have to defend it. We’re all entitled to our own opinion.


Nobody is attacking @janelouise as far as I can see and I hope she doesn’t feel that way. This is about food!

I think the premise has changed though. I didn’t realise we were talking about great restaurants having started with a local tapas bar, though I would definitely put Le Querce on a par with Babur in those terms. I am also food obsessed and am surprised at the comments re Hattush and their salmon/prawns but perhaps that is because I eat most of the rest of the menu, including their very good calamari. Nonetheless, I would contend that there are others which make the cut on the original fresh good and tasty metric?


Nope, I didn’t feel attacked - and you’re right, we’ve gone off topic! But personally, nowhere I’ve tried in HOP is quite meeting my needs/cravings yet… I live in hope! And die a bit inside every time I read about the new branch of Domino’s…