Website – http://tiendalondon.co.uk/
Food – 4.5
Service – 5
Ambience – 5
Location – 4
Wikipedia says that “Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish Cuisine.”
Spain is easily one of my favourite holiday destinations, even though I haven’t visited it as much as I would want to. My friend Ush and I have taken a few trips to the wonderful, happy and sunny country and there are so many places I would want to go and visit in Spain, in fact during the course of this review we decided that next year we are going to take a trip to Seville.. and I cannot wait! What I love about Spanish culture is the freedom. How you can walk around and everyone just seems really happy and content. I remember when I went to Malaga and we stayed in a very non-tourist part of the town, kids would be playing on the beach until late with no worries at all and old people would be sitting in groups, laughing, joking and chatting. It is a wonderful way of life. When I visited Valencia this year I was fascinated by the beauty of the architecture in the City; two days was just not enough.
Anyway I digress..
My friend Ush recently visited a wonderful little family-run restaurant, located in a quaint part of Parsons Green, West London, called Tienda. As we approached the restaurant on a cold Friday evening we could see that people were sitting on the tables outside laughing and chatting and that reminded me of being in Spain, even though the temperature in the UK was slightly different that night!
The first thing that struck me was that the restaurant was ever so pretty and quaint! There was a wine rack which covered the whole surface of one of the walls, cute table décor, they had authentic music playing but it wasn’t too loud and over powering and just really homely.
I started with a glass of the Decenio Crianza, a Rioja which was medium bodied red wine. Ush went for the Torivin, a lemony, fresh white wine which came in an amazing bottle! This is actually a wine made the old world way, in a place called Extremadura. I also had another glass of wine later which was called Ebano6 (2011) Ribera Del Duero, a full bodied wine which I ended up buying a bottle of!
We started our food with an extremely interesting dish. Olives with chilli (see picture below) – they were hot, hot, hot but weirdly addictive. This was something really unusual and the olives were really huge, meaty, fresh, tangy and tasty. We were excited for the rest of our upcoming meal.
We started with the one of the specials; a beetroot, pistachio, goat’s cheese and strawberry salad. It was a really unique mix of ingredients but really worked! Especially the strawberry and beetroot which we wouldn’t have ever thought would go together, the juices from the ingredients created an almost sorbet texture. This was a great complement to the next few tapas dishes.
Next we had another special, a skewer with monk-fish, prawn and peppers. This was a warm, lovely, light, tender but meaty and fresh dish. It came with a light olive oil sauce and was absolutely delicious with a light and delicate flavouring.
Our next choice of tapas was prawns with artichoke and pil-pil sauce, garlic, chilli and olive oil (My absolutely, most favourite tapas dish). The prawns, like the other ingredients in the dishes prior, were fresh, it had a mild spicy kick, creamy, tomatoey and perfectly cooked.
For our final tapas we had roast chicken with saffron sauce and Sautee rice. The chicken was lovely and tender and it had a nice home-style flavour. What I really liked about this dish was that even though there were so many different flavours with the chicken, the saffron and the rice; everything had its own individual taste and complemented the rest of the ingredients without it being too heavy.
We finished with desserts of a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream which was a light, sweet, crumbly, not too gooey and heavy, and the perfect end to Ush’s meal. I went for the chocolate truffles which was a selection of nutty chocolate truffles served with blackberries and raspberries. It was slightly different to what I was expecting but I really enjoyed the nutty, milky and sweet texture with a hot chocolate like sauce.
Overall, we both had a wonderful evening at the restaurant and will definitely be visiting again; the service was outstanding! They also do a brunch so I am looking forward to trying that out! Tienda is a great place for first dates, catching up with friends, family dinners… everything! It is a very versatile restaurant and based in a location which is easily accessible by train (5-6 minute walk from the station) or you can easily drive to it too.
Tienda is a hidden gem which hopefully won’t be hidden for too long. A Spanish delight, with some of the best tapas we’ve had outside of Spain.