SquareMeal Review of
From the team behind Bar Esteban and with several ex-Barrafina chefs behind its steel dining counter, this Stokey slice of España is of top-quality calibre. Escocesa, Spanish for ‘Scottish’, claims to hijack Scotland’s finest seafood before it reaches Spain; specials on the moderately priced tapas menu might include Ullapool mussels a la plancha, or Shetland razor clams. Sit at the curved entrance bar or retreat to the compact, stripped-back dining room, which brims with a casual, local crowd. Our meal contained hardly a dud dish: sobrassada sausage baked in honey was the highlight, a lively blend of chewy meat and almost treacle-like sweetness. Rocket salad with Manchego is also given a sweet lift – via quince and Pedro Ximénez – while salt-cod croquetas are crisp and creamy. More substantial dishes, such as octopus with potato, sometimes suffer from too many ingredients: best stick to lighter bites, paired with a Rebujito cocktail (La Goya Manzanilla sherry with lemonade, lime and mint). Service can be haphazard but is incredibly charming, which sums up Escocesa rather well.