Batten down the hatches. I have found a restaurant guilty of superseding my favourite local haunt. A stones throw from Clapham North, Boqueria proudly boasts Timeout’s ‘Cheap Eats’ award. Please don’t let price put you off if you usually like to flash the cash. No corners are cut on the quality of food, nor on the wine. I had a 2006 Rioja reserve for £25, as recommended by the attentive, Spanish waiter. Totally unlike other places where the waiter is clearly told to up sell from the House Red, I trusted him.
My fellow diners basked in the warming atmosphere and every one of the 20 or so tables was packed. The slick grey and white decore and simplistic crockery were all in keeping with the modern Spanish vibe that I had found on a recent trip to Barcelona. Dinner for two cost £30 a head including wine and dessert. I would definitely recommend to those looking for a first date location. There is nothing more intimate than sharing dishes and it’s an easy conversation topic. The number of couples sipping glasses of champagne would seem to agree.
Our waiter recommended fried milk for dessert. Out of curiosity, we plumped for it. Four golden squares drizzled with caramel arrived. Set custard was deep fried in cinnamon and smothered with brown sugar. For those who like churros and creme Catalan, this is the holy grail. As well as the dining room, there is an informal bar area to share dishes or dine alone. Try the monkfish with griddled king prawns. Or the Iberian pork shoulder with salted peppers. Or the meltingly soft chorizo in cider. In fact try anything and I would guarantee its excellence.
For those whose only experience of tapas is La Tasca, Boqueria is game changing. A warmly authentic Spanish dining experience awaits.
192 Acre Lane