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A taste of: Boqueria

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5 December 2012 by Luke McCormick

Barcelona's Boqueria market is the place to eat, shop and gossip - a Catalan centre of community right off Las Ramblas.

Inspired by Barcelona's iconic ‘El Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria' market, Boqueria restaurant in Brixton specialises in traditional contemporary tapas dishes from across Spain.

But there's a clear Catalan thread pulling the menu together. Easy to understand when you learn owner Jaime Armenter is from Barcelona.

Inside plain wooden tables and settings, white walls, benches and paper menus make it sparse, clean and relaxing, while the bar at the front is the place for a drink.

The interiors may be anodyne, but the flavours are bold and colourful.

Specials included lobster paella, meatballs, fried anchovies and chorizo tortilla.

Patatas bravas were paired with a red pepper and chilli sauce, while crisp croquettes came stuffed with goat and manchego cheese.

While the monkfish and lamb medallions with tomato sauce failed to impress, the suckling pig (cochinillo asado) with sweet potato crisps and vanilla sorbet was a genuine highlight.

Calamari was comforting, slightly floury and not oily in the slightest.

Traditional (tradicionales) dishes included chorizo with cider (chorizo a la sidra) and fried squid with lemon mayonnaise (calamares a la romana).

A variety of meat dishes included lamb medallions in a Spanish style sauce (medallones de cordero a la española), slices of Iberian pork shoulder on sweet potato puree (presa ibérica con puré de boniato) and traditional Catalan stew (fricando).

For rice lovers there was black rice with squid and mussels (arroz negro) and of course, seafood paella (paella de pescado y marisco), while other seafood included the aforementioned monkfish, cod fritters, king prawns in various guises and squid balls.

In all Boqueria is a great addition to the dining scene in this part of London.

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