It helped to spearhead the trend for Spanish food in the capital, and 10-year-old Cigala is still valued for a ‘quick, informal catch-up' – despite some heavy local competition from the new brigade. The main attraction is an exhaustive tapas list that roves around the Iberian Peninsula as freely as Don Quixote, luring punters into Basque country for txangurro (baked crab with cayenne, brandy, tomato and parsley) or directing them to Andalusia for calamares a plancha with mojo sauce and pickled guindilla pepper. There are also various main courses waiting in the wings (paellas and arroz negro are available to share), and you can conclude your Spanish culinary pilgrimage with a Galician classic – tarta de Santiago (almond cake). The backdrop is a workmanlike dining room plainly dressed with whitewashed walls, blonde wood and white linen.
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