“I know a great little tapas bar” is a phrase that strikes me with dread. This bold claim, almost always leads to me sitting in an over-the-top, over priced, pretentious faux Spanish bull ring, eating various, sizzling pieces of rubber, all tasting of tinned tomatoes and garlic powder.
So it was a refreshing treat to find myself in a small, unassuming restaurant, located within an unlikely parade of shops near Camden Town. (Mornington Crescent, to be less pretentious and more precise.)
El Parador has been quietly here since 1988 and serves beautifully simple and tasty tapas created by owners Carlos and Patrick.
The roots of the dishes are Spanish, but flavours are also imported from other Mediterranean cuisines.
The dishes here do not hide. The choice of ingredients extrude passion and the flavours unquestionably honest.
Pulpo al la Parrilla arrives as a single, fat tentacle. Stark and sauceless. The carefully balanced marinade second fiddle to its tender flesh, homage to the time spent on the grill.
Pure de Habas, a mixture of crushed broad beans, confit garlic and rosemary is a house favourite. Served warm with bread, it should feature in any selection.
The interior décor reflects this honesty. If one were cruel it could be described as dated, I prefer charming, a word that I would use to sum up the whole El Parador experience.
El Parador has a loyal, local following, so book to avoid disappointment.
With a well stocked cellar and three tapas for two Monday to Friday
If you are ever looking to lunch in this part of town, I know a great, little tapas bar!
Go To: elparadorlondon.com
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