Spotlight on Tapas Brindisa

Published on Nov 23, 2020

Each month, we catch up one of the fantastic businesses that make the Old Street District the vibrant and exciting place that we all know and love.

This month, we’re chatting to Kelly Richardson, Food Operations Director at Tapas Brindisa, a modern, Spanish tapas restaurant on Curtain Road.

Hi Kelly! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Could you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with Tapas Brindisa?
From a young age I loved to cook, my parents would drive for an hour to take my sister and I for a good lunch or to buy produce they had heard of / were keen to try. I worked in the best possible restaurants I could, sometimes for free, to learn my craft.

Whilst my passion was cooking, ingredients were the most important thing – something that was quite often lost in the 90s and early 00s when the focus was all on the plate. When I met Monika (the founder of Brindisa), I knew she was a kindred spirit, and as it happens, both of us had lived and worked in Spain. Joining up and working for Monika at Brindisa seemed a natural path.

How would you describe Tapas Brindisa to someone who hasn’t visited before?
A tapas bar where you can escape back to your favourite Spanish memories

What’s the most popular thing on your menu?
Our classics where we can showcase the ingredients we have imported from special producers for decades, plates like our hand-carved Bellota Ham.

Can you tell us a little bit about your team and the atmosphere in the restaurant?
We take great pleasure in saying that the majority of our team have been with us a long time and whilst these times are challenging, we will continue to grow stronger together. The atmosphere is loud and fun with laughter and chatting with a faint din of Spanish music underneath.

What do you love about the area? How would you recommend someone spends a day in Shoreditch/the Old Street area?
There’s a pervading sense of creativity and vibrancy in Shoreditch which is infectious – it’s certainly becoming more mainstream as the years go on but it’s youthful crowd and the abundance of independent shops, bars, cultural hubs ensures it stays unique and interesting whilst the nightlife means its always got a draw. I would recommend just wandering the streets – at every corner there’s street art to stumble across, vintage shops to browse and street food to treat yourself to.

The pandemic has undoubtedly had a huge impact on businesses in our area. How did you navigate it? How does the way you operate now differ to how you operated before the pandemic?
We had to look at being more efficient, arguably also less complacent, but we have stuck to our values of product and team – it’s a winning combination.

What advice would you give to businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, during a crisis like this one?
Stick to what you believe in and do not try to please everyone or spread yourself too thin. If you’re passionate, it comes across and is contagious on those around you. Stay humble!

Have you felt supported by the Old Street District community? How else could the local community support you?
The area has been great. I think shopping local wherever you live is key, business and the community is symbiotic.

Describe Tapas Brindisa in three words – Spanish or English!
Quality, Spanish, fun.