When all the top chefs in London (Tom Aikens, Claude Bosi and Angela Hartnett) all name Taberna do Mercado as their favourite London restaurant you know you’re onto a good thing. Nuno Mendes has transformed traditional Portuguese tapas into simple, exquisite fare that shows of his culinary knowledge (he hails from the Chiltern Firehouse no less) all brought together by head chef Antonio Galapito. There isn’t much on the menu that you won’t want to order. Shown off as simple “snacks’ underestimates the sheer skill in the cooking displayed at this little gem. This is big cooking that’s been sold in a modest manner. A whole new take on simple fare.
Head for lunch for their famed pork sandwich with paprika paste butter in the stripped down, simple surroundings of their petite Spitalfieds location which is open 7 days a week. Or head there of an evening with friends to share runner bean fritters, lamb sweetbread stew, acorn-fed pig loin and ratte potato sides with crispy kale, egg and almonds.
The service is exceptional and the regional wines are excellently chosen. Not to be missed.