Bar Tozino advertises itself as a Jamon bodega (literally “ham winery”) and focuses on Iberico ham and Sherry. Iberico ham comes from black Iberico pigs which are large, very fat animals, meaning their meat can be cured for longer and it picks up a much more complex flavour. Acorn-fed Iberico (Jamon Bellota) is the most expensive cut because the pigs really love acorns and it helps them really plump out.
It is housed in a little dank railway arch on Lassco Ropewalk: I would recommend having a look at the funky antiques in the Lassco stores, which range from Prussian army uniforms to Victorian school tables and silver tea sets. The ropewalk, bookended by the fantastic 40 Malty Street has a weekend market which includes a great array of stallholders including Craft Coffee, Little Bird Gin, Monty’s – a Jewish deli with killer salt beef – and a chap that specialises in Mexican chilli paste.
Tozino isn’t just about ham though – they also serve some bog standard tapas which is mostly meaty (eg slow cooked pork shoulder; chorizo and chickpea stew) as well as some Manchego-heavy cheese plates. I enjoyed my squid ink risotto with chorizo – the rice was nicely cooked and the chorizo was good quality, not too chewy, with a slight paprika kick. Baked eggs with chickpeas was a very rustic dish which didn’t make the heart race – I’m afraid that the small kitchen at Tozino won’t be producing any ground breaking tapas, you will be better to focus on the Iberico.
And so to the main event: our Jamon, which was nutty, salty/sweet and melt in the mouth; as good as what I have eaten in Spain. The ham needs to be treated with care and cut in a very particular way to avoid it becoming very chewy, but the staff at Tozino really know what they are doing. They also have a great selection of Sherries and the bar staff are very generous at letting you have samples before you order. I went for a medium dry Amontillado which, despite its initial tartness, had a ripe sweet finish.
Verdict: good value Iberico ham that deserves to be washed down with some crisp, dry Sherry.