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Trangallán, we learn, is a word from Galicia for a kind of bohemian ne’er-do-well. And this little former shop certainly has the right bohemian feel, with its junk shop furniture (tables for two are especially intimate) and easy-going welcome from the mostly Galician crew who run it. It’s billed as a ‘gastro-cultural space’, and has hosted a variety of performances in its basement, though these now play second fiddle to the food.
The menu changes frequently and mostly avoids routine tapas in favour of more imaginative compositions, revealing a good deal of skill and sophistication, not to mention enthusiasm, in the kitchen. Broad beans with crisp serrano ham was a surprisingly refined take on a traditional dish; a perfectly flavoured classic tortilla was deliciously browned on the outside, still soft within. Tranga’s kebab of lamb – served off the skewer – was beautifully fragrant with yoghurt and fresh herbs, while slivers of dover sole with saffron potatoes and confit of garlic, and a Galician stew of lamb cheek, potatoes and savoy cabbage both had a richness and subtlety worthy of much fancier venues.
Food prices, like the overall quality, are a little above the tapas norm, and there’s a short but superior wine list, especially strong on fine sherries.
61 Newington Green
|Transport:||Tube: Canonbury tube/rail or bus 21,73, 341|
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