A more polished, more ambitious version of Soho tapas success Copita.
Please note, Copita del Mercado is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink editors, Sep 2016.
Tapas is great for groups – you order loads, descend on every plate en masse, then order more. So imagine my disappointment at being stood up at this larger, shinier version of Soho’s teeny-tiny Copita. It sits incongruously on a rag-trade thoroughfare that’s home to Petticoat Lane Market – lively when its textile shops are in full swing, but dauntingly deserted at night.
Happily, Copita del Mercado was great for solo dining: sit at a communal table, order small plates and a ‘copita’ (literally, ‘little glass’), and watch the dining room. A warmly lit space decked out in brass, tiles and dark wood, it retains some of the original’s cosiness despite its size. There are non-communal tables, too, plus stools overlooking the kitchen.
Executive chef Ignacio Pinilla could easily have just repackaged Copita’s popular menu. Instead, his slightly larger dishes and showpiece specials (hello, white truffle en papillotte) breaks new ground while continuing the theme of flavoursome, cliché-dodging Spanish comfort food. No must-order dish rivalled Copita’s ajo blanco, based on the chilled Andalucian garlic-and-almond soup. But I didn’t miss having one stand-out dish, because everything was good.
Flame-roasted aubergine was delicious with a lightly spiced tomato salsa and chopped boiled egg – a chunky take on gazpacho. Hake atop that earthy ajo blanco was set off with juicy cooked grapes. Moorish-style pistachio-crusted lamb neck with apricot jam was tender but almost sweet enough to be a dessert. Chestnut mousse (more of a gelato) was deliciously smooth.
It’s early days, but Copita del Mercado has lots to offer – not least a reservations system and a dedicated G&T menu featuring more than a dozen gins, all served Spanish-style – and Spanish-strength – in fishbowl-sized wine glasses. They’re a fun way to kick off the meal, but they do bulk out the bill.
Don’t neglect the ravishing all-Spanish wine list, organised by style, with lesser-known grape varieties highlighted. There’s plenty by the glass, should you require a ‘table for one’.
|Venue name:||Copita del Mercado|
60 Wentworth Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3.30pm Mon-Sun; dinner served 5.30pm-10.30pm Mon-Sat.|
|Transport:||Tube: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Aldgate|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £80.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
I go here for the gin and tonics rather than the food as the g&ts are soooooooo good. The food is great also but better if you are into meat and fish. As a vegetarian, I'm happy to just focus on the liquid offerings!
On every visit I have received a very friendly welcome. The food is amazing and good value, the menu varies and the gin and tonics are a must to try! Search this place out and you will not be disappointed.
Booking a table for myself and 12 discerning Round The World Dinner Clubbers was a slightly daunting prospect but my choice of Copita del Mercado could not have been better. Stylish, unpretentious decor? Tick. Attentive, warm, unfussy service? Tick.
Goblets of delicious gins? Tick
Best tapas I've ever eaten? Tick.
Unsolicited comments from the rest of the gang included, "This is the first time I've ever enjoyed tapas!" and "Wow aubergine with hazelnuts is amazing!" and "I didn't know tapas could be this good." Our visit didn't break the bank (none of us are on city salaries) and it seems I've set the bar high for our next club member's selection of venue.
No, not traditional tapas, but evolved and delicious. Wandered in tonight and was delighted by the surprise. Still thinking about my perfect G&T at the bar followed by lamb-stuffed peppers, incredible lentils and perfect croquettas (amongst several others tasty offerings) shared with long-lost friends.
Who needs to go to Spain when you can have tapas this good on your doorstep? (OK they might have warmer climates and better looking people..). This is not just your average tapas bar. Not a patatas bravas insight. We didn’t come across a bad dish. Meat was succulent and even hare stew was featured (not often you come across Bug Bunny’s ugly cousin). High chair and lots of space for buggies.
Went to the restaurant on Friday. It's in a great location and it's a lovely venue.
I was expecting tapas and this wasn't tapas. It was larger plates to share and not (IMHO) traditional tapas. Additionally, the items on the menu were complicated and fussy, trying to add too many flavours to the same dish. I would prefer it to be much simpler.
The food was well presented and some of it was nice to eat. They also have a great selection of GIN which is good.
The two of us ate for £100 which I thought was expensive, but we had wine and two cocktails, but still it's quite deer, compared to other offerings.
Would I go again? no, there are too many other restaurants like this which are the same/better
Would I recommend? no
I'm glad i went to see why Timeout recommended it as restaurant of the week....and I'm not sure.
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