SquareMeal Review of
Taberna do Mercado
One Spitalfields local feels lucky to have some “Nuno Mendes magic” around the corner from his office, although this Portuguese tapas joint is a far cry (geographically and gastronomically) from the chef’s celeb-magnet Chiltern Firehouse. Buzzy and intimate, with “fairly neutral” decor and fair prices, it doles out a funky mix of charcuterie, home-cured fish and varied small plates with some seriously random (but “amazing”) flavour combinations. We’re sold on the moreish green bean fritters and the expertly cooked octopus and pepper salad, but the line-up also extends to tinned Dorset char with fennel and lemon, beef prego sandwiches with prawn paste and wild garlic, fascinating cheeses and wonderfully weird desserts such as the oddly delicious abade de priscos (made from pork fat and caramel, steamed egg yolk and sugar). Service can be a little hectic, but busy crowds and content stomachs are testament to Mendes’ commitment to exciting Portuguese fare.