Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right The Little Tapería

The Little Tapería

Restaurants, Spanish Tooting
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
1/7
© Luana Failla
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
2/7
© Luana Failla
THe LIttle Taperia (© Luana Failla)
3/7
© Luana Failla
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
4/7
© Luana Failla
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
5/7
© Luana Failla
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
6/7
© Luana Failla
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
7/7
© Luana Failla

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

A Spanish tapas restaurant in Tooting.

It’s a lovely feeling when you study a menu and want to order everything. It’s even lovelier when you notice the reasonable prices, and realise you could do exactly that without having to raise a mortgage first. Yet talk of mortgages surrounded us at this tapas bar in Tooting, as the area’s seen a huge influx of new-to-London renters and first-homers. This demographic of up-for-it flatshares and the newly-coupled is creating a surge in fun, affordable places to eat and drink in SW17.

Why did Soho House’s Chicken Shop cross the road? To get to La Tapería, on the adjacent street corner. Over the road is Honest Burgers; around the corner is Mud, an Aussie-style brunch place and café. Geronimo Inns is currently converting a huge local landmark, The Trafalgar Arms, into a trendy wine bar. No wonder Tooting’s been called the new Shoreditch.

Yet La Tapería’s charm is more homespun than the bigger operators. A side passage and yard at the back have been covered with corrugated plastic roofing to make a beach shack-style extension; a marble-topped bar at the front dispenses simple but good cocktails; and a long corridor-like series of rooms connects the two, with an open kitchen halfway along. Sit near it and you can admire cool artistry in a very hot kitchen, as the chefs work with wordless concentration.

The menu’s the sort of thing you might find in Spain – if you’re lucky. Big prawns tasted as if they’d just been lifted out of the sea, then sautéed with chilli and garlic. Salt cod fritters arrived fresh from the fryer, perfectly seasoned and crisp with a fresh alioli. These are classic tapas, yet so often the simplest things are hardest to get right. A simple pan con tomate, sourdough bread rubbed with garlic and spread with crushed fresh tomatoes, relies on prime ingredients, and the version here matches anything we’ve eaten on the Iberian peninsula.

A few dishes show more invention, such as baby squid stuffed with Spanish black pudding. The appearance is striking, and the metallic taste of the filling adds an earthy edge to the seafood; textures and flavours of sea and land meet on a plate.

Little Tapería was lively and filled with smiles on our Friday-night visit. Despite not taking reservations, the staff were able to squeeze us in. As we left, good-tempered lines had formed both here and at the adjacent and equally modish Chicken Shop. Who would have thought that Tooting Broadway would become a place to pasear the time?

By: Guy Dimond

Posted:

Details

Address: 143 Tooting High St
London
SW17 0SY
Cross street: Nutwell Street
Transport: Tube: Tooting Broadway
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £70.
Contact:
Opening hours: 5-11.30pm Mon-Thur; 5-12.30pm Fri; 10am-12.30pm Sat; 10am-11pm Sun.
Do you own this business?
You may also like
    Latest news