El Castizo

Tapas is my favourite.
Not just because of the barrages of jamon, cheese and well flavoured carbs on offer, but because dining is a social experience where everybody tucks into an array of share-sized goodies. And because everything is share sized, it means you get to try a little bit of everything.

El Castizo is small family run restaurant in an underground bunker set just a short walk from the heart of Chichester. Run by Diana and James, this place feels more like dinner at a friends house, than a restaurant, if your friend just happens to be an incredible Spanish cook.

The decor is minimalist nostalgia with the underground bunker in which El Castizo is set being decorated modestly with trinkets, fans and artefacts across the domed walls.

The food is is delicious, and by using only authentic ingredients the flavour isn’t compromised. Each dish is sent out as and when it’s ready, meaning there’s no food ever sitting on a hot pass going past its best.

We went for Patatas Bravas.

Perfectly cooked potato chunks smothered in a gorgeously spicy tomato sauce.

Sizzling garlic and lemon prawns.

Ham croquettes.

Spiced chorizo doused in olive oil.

Mushrooms with onion, garlic, and spinach in a cream sauce with nutmeg served on toasted bread.

Deep fried calamari with garlic and lemon aioli.

Deep fried goat cheese and pepper salad.

And my personal favourite.

Big chunks of meaty goodness served in a rich and creamy tomato sauce.

The dishes being sent out as and when it’s ready is the perfect touch, not only because it means the dish isn’t sat around whilst you’re at your table salivating, but because it means you get a short break between dishes and you don’t end up overindulging.
That’s something you want to save for afters – especially when they’re offering traditional cheesecakes, lemon tortes and salted caramel tarts…
But as always – pudding never made it onto my camera roll because my fork action was quicker than my shutterbug ways.
Sorry guys!

Update: El Castizo has unfortunately closed down.
You can no longer find them at:
The Victoria, 24 St Pancras, Chichester.
Or by calling them on 01243 788988.

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