What kind of food do you serve at El Toro Español?
We are a typical Spanish restaurant, serving traditional meals such as homemade tapas, authentic Iberian ham, manchego cheese and paella. I buy the ham from a Spain by the kilo, it is very good stuff. We also offer a very good value set menu from £9.75 for 3 courses including bread and a dessert. We do takeaways and we serve sangria, Spanish beers and Spanish wine too.
I worked as a head waiter in some of the best restaurants in Madrid. At one point I had 17 people reporting to me so I have a lot of experience working in restaurants. I’ve been in London three times and I thought this would be something new to do. I like trying different things and wanted to have my own little place. I wanted the restaurant be very intimate like eating at home; we can seat about 20 people in the restaurant.
You came here from Madrid, how did you get the restaurant started?
I had a few friends and connections here already so when a friend told me about this property on Brixton Hill so my wife Carolina and I made the decision to rent the venue. It didn’t take too much, I brought the decorations; fans, bullfighter costume and art from Madrid with me. My wife and I cook all the food ourselves.
How easy was it to set up your restaurant?
It was relatively simple. I used my friends here to promote it through word of mouth, I got flyers made and some friends gave them out in the local area. I also took out an advert in El Iberico, a Spanish newspaper for Spanish people living in London. We have a Facebook page and are using this to get followers and likes.
There is a big Spanish community here in Brixton, how much support have you had from the local community?
It’s been very positive, a lot of local people both Spanish and non-Spanish have come by and slowly business has picked up. We opened on the 1st of June and the first two weeks were very slow but now we have a steady stream of people and even a few regulars for lunch and dinner.
What are the plans for the future?
To make El Toro Espanol a success; a place where people can eat homemade Spanish food, enjoy my culture and be happy.
You can find El Toro at 61 New Park Road, Brixton Hill, SW2 4EN (entrance on Morrish Road)