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|Address:||79 Salusbury Road, London NW6 6NH|
|Tel:||020 7604 4484|
|Wine: £17.00||Champagne: £39.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 9am-10.30pm|
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What HAS taken us so long? We must have eaten, drunk and got very merry at this fine new joint in Queens Park twenty times. At least. Perhaps we’re complacent, taking it as read that this is the place we hang out at and have quickly grown to love. Best of all, it’s in glorious stumbling distance from where we live. Caldo is – as its full name suggests, a bar and a kitchen. You can do one or the other, or both. All too frequently, we set out to have a couple of drinks (and the drinks, by the way, are great – mojitos, French Martinis and gin pairings, which we haven’t yet seen anywhere else in London) and end up ordering everything off the menu, which focuses on fabulous Brit-Basque cooking and the joy of small plates, meaning you never feel like you’re missing out – or to put it another way, you don’t get food envy. Tonight Matthew, we had padrón peppers, mushroom croquettas, crispy calamari and vegetables in saffron batter with aioli, grilled scallops with a tomato and pastis sauce and herb crust and sautéed chicken livers with a sherry sauce. Our tipple that evening was a bottle of Crémant d’Alsace and since we were feeling particularly greedy, events were beautifully completed with crema Catalana and rum and raisin ice cream with sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry. Needless to say, the food is very good indeed. Rustic yet elegant tapas with flavours that most definitely hit the spot – and for which we shall keep coming back and back and back.