Thyme & Lemon
Time Out says
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A swishy, Spanish-influenced new addition to Islington’s restaurant-stuffed Upper Street.
Thyme and lemon: a combination that you’re more likely to expect shoved up a chicken’s bum at Grandma’s house than served up in genuine tapas. This new restaurant on Upper Street describes itself as a tapas bar. What it really does is small plates – a bastardised form of tapas that has its charms but isn’t particularly authentic, despite claims otherwise in T&L’s lengthy online mission statement. The bullfighting poster in the corner and ‘Bamboléo’ on the stereo already make its ‘authenticity’ somewhat dubious. But more disconcerting are the Italian dishes on the menu. Ricotta gnocchi? Cannelloni? Lemon posset? These anomalies detract from the menu’s perfectly decent tapas staples (manchego, jamón and pan con tomate) and its more unusual dishes like Valencian fideuà (paella with noodles instead of rice).
Unfortunately, the thing that T&L does share with a real tapas bar is the teeny portion size: two scallops, three churros, four meatballs to a plate. And each dish, bulked out with a heap of rocket, will set you back £5 to £7. The cooking is fine if nothing special. But with pricing like that and the waiter recommending three dishes apiece, Thyme & Lemon is trying to have its tortilla and eat it.