Whilst the Chiltern Firehouse is perennially knee deep in celebrities, Mendes' new Taberna do Mercado restaurant in Old Spitalfields Market, is an altogether less exclusive affair – without scrimping on quality. Named ‘One to Watch’ at the National Restaurant Awards earlier this week, Mendes' new space boasts a simple, minimalistic design, in a laid back atmosphere with cafe-style tables. The food, as at Viajante remains as Portuguese as Mendes himself.
First up are the petiscos (tapas/snacks), best for sharing; runner bean fritters, carrots escabeche and prawn rissóis, to name a few of Mendes' delectable offerings, as well as intriguing ‘house tinned’ seafood, delicately cooked and dressed with tomato sofrito or herb scented oil.
More substantial plates include alheira (a Portuguese poultry sausage); Bisaro pork tartare and cabbage in a clear broth; and cod and cod tripe acorda (bread soup). On the dessert menu come the unusual abade de priscos – an egg yolk pudding traditionally set with pork fat and served with red wine syrup – which has been causing a stir amongst the capital’s most renowned restaurant critics.
Dinner is walk-in only, but well organised diners can book themselves a table for lunch. From Monday to Friday the restaurant is also open for breakfast and the pasteis de nata, with their scorched surfaces and oozing, still-liquid centres, have already sent Instagram into a custardy meltdown.
With so much that's original and delectable, the Chiltern Firehouse's latest, laid-back sister is definitely one to keep an eye on.
|What||Taberna do Mercado restaurant, Spitalfields|
|Where||Taberna do Mercado, Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial Street, E1 6BG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Liverpool Street (underground)|
20 Jul 15 – 01 Jul 16, Monday to Friday 8:00 – 21:30 | Saturday 12:00 – 21:30 | Sunday 12:00 – 19.30 drinks and snacks in the evening, no dinner service
|Website||Click here to go to Taberna do Mercado’s website|