I’ve been walking past this place for a few months on my way home from work. There’s a whole bunch of restaurants and quirky shops opening up in this area. On a whim I decided to book a table for the evening while wandering around Petticoat Lane Market on my lunch break last Friday. It seemed to tick all the boxes – a light, spacious open plan restaurant and kitchen, Spanish food, lots of fish and seafood, sharing small tapas plates. I didn’t know at the time that it had a pedigree. Copita del mercado is the younger sister to the very popular and successful Copita in Soho.
The service was friendly and relaxed although it wasn’t very busy for a Friday night. It’s location on a quiet, dark market street might account for this, but I’m sure that once the word is out we’ll be booking weeks in advance. A Spanish tapas restaurant and bar of this quality, with a 50 seat garden opening in July, is a rarity in Shoreditch or the City.
We ordered twice, kicking off with vegetarian and fish tapas and then moving on to meat, mainly ordering from their daily specials menu. Roasted aubergine, hazelnut, tomato honey & coriander (£6) was smoky and rich, the tomato honey was a sweet and slightly sour twist, but after an initial ‘oh wow!’ we became less convinced by the combination with the overly sweet hazelnut puree which was reminiscent of nutella. I was tempted by the kid liver pate £5.50 maybe next time!
The fresh tuna tartare with silky green tarragon butter, crisp diced apple & pine kernels (£10) disappeared fast. The juicy roast hake with mini Jersey Royals laced with garlic and smoked paprika was good value at £8.50 and was perfectly cooked, it was a shame we were sharing!
Next up was the beef onglet steak with wild garlic mayonnaise, it was served quite rare, sliced and laid out on bed of bright green garlicky mayo and fresh raw wild garlic leaves (£9) and was again very moreish. The chorizo in red wine sauce (£6) unlike the flame-charred slices of sausage I’ve come to expect in Spain, came in a tapas dish crammed full of meaty chorizo chunks, sizzled, soaked and softened in a rich onion and red wine sauce.
A quirky speciality is the Spanish G&T list, but we opted for a reasonably priced glass of Tempranillo red from the extensive wine choices by the glass or bottle, and a non-alcohol Mahou beer. This is a great new place for post-work drinks paired with modern, well priced, innovative tapas. It will be even better in the summer when this really will be a taste of sunny Spain.
Copita del mercado, 60 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7AL