This is a relaxed and inviting bar in the open-plan food hall of Whole Foods Market in Kensington High Street, the next chapter in food shopping where every product on sale is natural and free of artificial additives.
There’s no escaping the fact that Whole Foods Market, on first impression, looks like a slice of the U.S., cut and pasted into a fashionable part of London. The food hall is overwhelming and crammed with different bars and counters all manned by uniformed, perennially-smiling staff. The Tapas Bar is no exception and although it is clear - judging by general employee eagerness - that a lot is riding on this first attempt by Whole Foods to change the way Londoners shop and dine, you can’t help but warm to the friendly approach.
As with any bar that shares a spacious hall with eight other bars, intimacy is not on the list of priorities. In fact, it feels a little like grabbing top notch food whilst waiting for a flight at Stansted. Areas for chairs and tables where you can take your food does create more of an ambience but this is essentially a food court in a high-class supermarket - enjoy your food and continue shopping is the message here.
However, unlike your normal food court in a shopping mall or supermarket, the food here is sublime. The Spanish omelette is served like a thick slice of cake so you can see the ingredients in the layers. Tasty and juicy with a crispy golden outer layer and minus the stodginess, it’s a winner. The salt cod fritters are rather salty as you’d expect but are accompanied by a gorgeous Remoulade dip and crispy, fresh salad to make the meal a rewarding option.
The impressive international wine list available compliments the range of Spanish cheeses on the menu, which is like some kind of reward for having to walk through expansive areas of fine wine and sumptuous cheese on sale before reaching the bar on the next floor.
The Last Word
Perfect for a quick bite mid-shop, the Tapas Bar in Whole Foods Market provides a tasty array of Spanish treats which won’t seek to slow you down as you resume shopping.