Former Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni has swapped football togs for chef’s whites with the launch of his own restaurant in Purley – in partnership with fellow Argentinian Cristian Barrionuevo, who runs the Buenos Aires steakhouse next door. The food has a broadly Mediterranean accent, with ideas from footballing big guns such as Spain, Portugal and Italy alongside some native Latin influences. Locals and members of the CPFC squad drop by for plates of mixed antipasti, portobello mushroom bruschetta or Galician-style octopus with paprika, followed by pan-fried cod with pipérade, butternut squash risotto or five-hour roasted lamb in Malbec with homemade varenikes pasta parcels (stuffed with potatoes and onions). There are also plenty of more conventional pastas with mix-and-match sauces, while the wine list includes an impressive contingent from Argentina.
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