We like tapas and have been to The Little Taperia in Tooting a couple of times since it opened. So, finding ourselves at a loose end on a Saturday night and with nothing inspiring in the fridge we booked ourselves a table for an early dinner.
The restaurant is small and cosy, and when it first opened it was walk-ins only and whilst the food is worth queueing for, being impatient, quite often we didn’t. The fact that you can now book a table means that we get to eat there more often, which is great. Even though we had an early booking at 18.30, it was reasonably busy when we arrived. The décor creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. For the first time, we were seated in the area at the back, which is where the kitchen is. This suited us perfectly as it was a bit quieter and a little cooler. We were immediately offered water for the table and then left to peruse the menus.
The bar menu comprises of a range of cocktails, wines and beer. From the decent choice of wine on the menu, we chose 1 glass of Lopez de Haro Crianza Rioja. It was also pleasing to see a G&T on the menu that featured our favourite gin, locally distilled Graveney Gin. So that was me sorted.
Now, the trouble with tapas is, it can be tricky to order just the right amount of food. This is made even trickier when everything on the menu sounds so appetising.
We opted for a few staple favourites: potatas bravas, padron peppers, gambas al ajilo and grilled chorizo, and then added scotch eggs, albondigas (meatballs) and the special which was lamb cutlets. We have found that no 2 tapas restaurants are the same and they each have their own twist on these dishes. Here, potatas bravas is served with an aioli dip as well as (we think) a paprika dip, with more paprika sprinkled over the top (it’s not too much, honest!). The potatoes were crispy and well-cooked and I loved the 2 dips. The padron peppers are fried and served simply with rock salt, they are incredibly moreish.
The grilled chorizo sausage is served on a slice of toasted sourdough with a pesto spread and piquilo pepper. It makes for a lovely combination of flavours.
The scotch eggs are a bit of a speciality here and they are always perfectly cooked, runny in the middle with a rich surrounding meaty layer and crisp coating.
The gambas were served still sizzling in their dish and were plump and well-seasoned with slices of garlic and chilli.
We haven’t tried the albondigas before but with a juicy chunky tomato base, they were really good.
Finally, the lamb cutlets, which were almost a course in themselves. Cooked perfectly pink, along with some crisp potato wedges and a lovely minty salsa verde. Fantastic.
Finally we decided, perhaps unwisely, to share a portion of churros with some milk chocolate sauce to dip. They were a lovely end to the meal but, by the time we left, I couldn’t even mention the word food, because I was so full.
Everything went well together and also worked as a dish by itself, and there was still plenty on the menu that we didn’t get to try, but we’ll save them for next time. Service was friendly and quick but we didn’t feel rushed at all.
As we said, we have been here a couple of times but, every time we come it seems to get better and better. The meal, including drinks came to just under £70. It was worth every penny.