Amongst clothing, crafts and leathers there´s a Portuguese corner in the Old Spitafields Market in Shoreditch, London – Taberna do Mercado.
Chef executive, António Galapito soon realized his destiny would rely on the food business and allowed his creativity to guide him through pans and condiments. Nuno Mendes, Taberna´s owner, urged for an informal Portuguese space in London and so, Taberna do Mercado was born where the moto is: to snack.
The triumph of the menu is the constant concern about the flavor – it´s a cuisine that deeply explores portuguese products along with modern culinary twists. The result is a modern, creative and stylish portuguese cuisine.
The ingredients are nothing out of the ordinary that one cannot find at any portuguese kitchen. Their quality and the daring junction with others that we never thought to be compatible are the key to an innovative gastronomy experience.
Let´s start. As a welcome drink I had the Amarguinha sour, a cocktail based on the Pisco Sour, the most disputed cocktail between Chile and Peru. It combines two portuguese liquors – Amêndoa Amarga and Ginjinha -, egg white and lemon juice – the base ingredients of the Pisco Sour.
Then a variety of small plates: shrimp fried patties in which the dough is actually made of shrimp; pig ears with orange and coriander pesto; bread crumbs (a very traditional portuguese dish from Alentejo region) with shitake mushrooms and peixinhos da horta with mussel sauce.
I tried also smoked violet shrimps with salt and lemon (a simple combination but very rich in flavor); bulhão pato styled scallops and a tender but crispy piglet. There´s also the octopus can and the codfish can – total flavor surprise boxes. The octopus is boiled, grilled and smoked after, it comes along with a bell pepper and crispy garlic salad; the codfish is boiled in olive oil with a paste of hummus, onion and boiled egg.
Last but totally not least the dessert – Pão de Ló (loaf of bread) a signature portuguese treat. It´s made mainly with eggs, has an incredible soft texture with moisten in the middle. However, in Taberna do Mercado is topped up with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Sounds weird? Tastes even better.
The price per person is about 30£, but one is able to nibble with only 10£. “The prices are compatible with all kids of wallets”.
Taberna do Mercado
| Old Spitalfields Market, 107B Commercial St, London E1 6BG United Kingdom
| Preço médio por pessoa: 30 £
Maria Bonifácio Lopes