Review: Del Parc, Tufnell Park

Del Parc, located a brisk walk uphill away from me in leafy Tufnell Park, has been on my radar for some time after hearing several locals to my new neighbourhood rave about it. So, a thank you dinner offered by some family seemed a perfect time to try out this local restaurant. Del Parc serves tapas, with a focus on classic Spanish dishes with a slight North African twist (think Moro etc). Their dedication to produce and sourcing is keen, wanting to serve the best they can.

We were greeted warmly and sat in the main restaurant at the back, it had a low key buzzy atmosphere with several diners already tucking in amongst the casual decor. The kitchen stands in the middle of the room, and we saw the passion and focus of the main chef Steve turning out dish after dish. There is no menu per-se, but Alan who greeted us asked if we had any allergies or strong dislikes, and then simply started bringing dishes. No mention either of price which I suppose could worry some people but I was happy to go with the flow having heard lots of good things about the food and the price.

Just a few highlights from the courses we sampled. Juicy olives and super garlicky cannelini beans we were brought as a snack to nibble on with our sherry. The boquerones, a personal favourite of mine, were amazing with none of the harsh vinegar associated with the cheaper variety, just fresh and light cured fish. The cured meats had a good selection and included several Iberico based cuts. Salty hot Padron peppers went super quick from our table (none of mine were spicy though, worse luck). White asparagus with a pistou (?) and olives was great, with a tomatoey nutty sauce and light pure asparagus.

Garlicky broad beans Serious boquerones Beautiful cured meats The Padrons went fast Veg tomato stew with quail's eggs White asaparagus with pistou and olives

Gambas and lemon Spanish "baba ghanoush" Mushroom and truffle toast Chocolate figs and Spanish "non-nougat"

A final flurry of simple grilled prawns and a baba ghanoush with flatbread brought us to a close. But when asked if we were still hungry we couldn’t resist, and were rewarded with a plate of grilled mushrooms and truffle. Finally we were stuffed but asked for a tiny sweet. The suggestion was chocolate covered figs and Spanish “non-nougat”. A small board of them was brought over, the perfect end to an indulgent meal.

There were lots (and lots!) of courses, someone mentioned 12 perhaps along the way. All were extremely good, with a focus on simple Spanish combinations made excellent by the standard of produce and presentation. The wine list had a Spanish focus (as you might expect) and we had a really delicious bottle at £27, beautifully smooth and very easy going with the food. All in all, it came to under £45 a head with 2 bottles of wine between 4, an absolute bargain. They told us about their plans for opening a more casual tapas bar at the front so I’ll be finding excuses to walk up the hill and pop in. Definitely worth a trip out to sample the Spanish delights and wonderful hospitality.

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