Tomatito, A Sexy Tapas Bar by El Willy

The newest concept from Chef Willy Trullas Moreno of El Willy, Tomatito is a casual, happy 'sexy' Spanish tapas bar. This sexy tapas bar is El Willy’s casual interpretation of the prêt-à-porter concept. Unlike more contemporary and fusion dishes served at El Willy, Tomatito offers the most traditional, homey tapas that any Spaniard will recalled their childhood meals. The Madrid-born head chef Alvaro Ramos designed the menu based on his mother’s recipes. Other offerings skew more toward Latin America with Peruvian ceviches and tiraditos.

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Tomatito is located in Taixing Road, this small historical street hidden in one of the most prosperous commercial area in town. The interior decor is inspired from traditional Spanish bars found in 1980s, relaxing and funky.  This made Tomatito a perfect place for younger crowds to catch up or even have some drinks.

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Tomatito offers dinner every working day and brunch during weekends. A 5-course set menu priced at 125 RMB is served during brunch, accompanied by a la carte menu which is too served during dinner. The menu is divided 11 sections: Chacineria (cold cuts) served with toasted bread & tomato, laterio (tinned goods), montaditos (mini open sandwiches), frituras (deep-fried), huevos (organic eggs), sopa boba (soups), pescados (fishes), verde (salads), carnes (meat), arroces (rice) and dulce tentacion (desserts). The cold cuts are range from 105-135 RMB for 70g; Cheese plate selection 130 RMB, mixed cold cuts and cheeses 178 RMB.

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Tomatito serves a wide selection of Spanish wines and classic drinks, such as Sangria. The white one is made of orange juice and white wine, the red wine is made of spirit and red wine. With abundant watermelon, grapefruit and lemons inside, this refreshing drink is ideal for such burning summer.

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Salads are essential for a balanced meal. We ordered the recommended Ensalada con Brie, the leaves are freshly chopped, although the truffle flavor of the dressing was on the weak side, the aromatic deep-fried Brie cheese makes this simple salad very unique. The naturally chewy texture of the cheese itself and crispy out-layers and crunchy walnuts really works.

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Ceviche de lubina y papaya  is one of chef's recommended seafood dish. The fresh and juicy seabass was lightly seared, mixed with papaya, cucumber, sweet corns and chips to enhance its flavor and texture. It is a very refreshing dish with a bit Asian twist.

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In comparison, Gambas al ajilo is a more flavorful and impressive dish we tried. The Argentine red shrimps were perfectly sauteed, it was very delicious and melt-in-mouth tenderness, with a beautiful spicy and umami flavor.

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Loves calamari rings but craving for something different? Try the Boca de calamares de la plaza mayor de Madriz. The calamari was deep-fried with a golden crisy crust, the squid ink mayo paried with chili powder nicely enhanced the flavor of the cute roll. On the other hand, the roll was a bit dry for our liking, and we expected it was toasted and served warm.

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Eggs are essential for a complete brunch. My partner and I are not a big fan of Spanish omelette, thus we picked Rotos I, which is a dish of broken fried eggs with baby squid and Iberian ham with a bed of homemade potato chips. The Iberian ham mixed with running egg yolk looks incredible, and of course high in flavor. Homemade potato chips has a crispy skin and moist center, which balanced well the savory flavor of the Iberian ham. However, it some how became very oily after a while, all the chips are soaked in the vegetable oil.

I really want to try the paella but the portion is quite large for two of us. Tomatito serves paella for both seafood loves and vegetarians, the seafood paella is priced at 210 RMB and the vegetable paella at 158 RMB.

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Most of the desserts on the dessert menu sounds quite heavy for our liking, such as chocolate doughnuts, Nutella chocolate brioche buns, Rice pudding, Ice cream sandwiches,etc. priced at 42 CNY each. We picked the one seems most refreshing, Flan tropical, but unexpectedly idsapppointing. The sour flavor was overhelming while the sweet flavor was even stronger.

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Overall we liked the lovely Tomatito restaurant, the ambiance was a bit playful while the food was great. Expect the over-sweetened desserts, the rest part of the meal was beautiful. Quite quality ingredients - most of the animal protein products are sourced directly from Spain and the greens are from local organic farms. The service qualtiy was below average, the reception who is a Philipin lady was quite impatient. There was only one Chinese server during our lunch there, who seems a bit dull and impatient with Chinese.


ddress: 2/F, Building A, 99 Taixing Lu, near Wujiang Lu, Jing'an 静安区泰兴路99号,A栋2楼(吴江路)

Hours: Weekend Brunch 12:30-3:30; Dinner 6pm+, Monday Closed

Average: CNY 300+ per person

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