Tuyo is a sunny, bright and airy Mediterranean restaurant with an Eastern slant. It opened in July just by the canal on Broadway Market in Hackney. We read the early reviews and excitedly booked a table, and after wandering the food stalls of Netil Market and Broadway Market, we made it inside just before a torrential downpour! For the next couple of hours we were happily held captive by the rain and the intriguing menu inspired by ingredients Spain, Turkey and the Middle East.
The decor is Skandi-Med – white-washed walls, massive windows and numerous green hanging plants. There’s an open kitchen and grill, with Ricardo Pimental (ex Salt Yard chef) in charge. They offer an eggs-based breakfast menu from 10.30am during the week and from 8am at weekends. The main menu focuses on pinchos skewers (£6), small plates (£6.50-12.50) and sharing boards (£12-16). So, you could come for drinks, nibbles and tapas snacks, or while away an afternoon with a relaxed meze lunch or dinner.
We skipped the nibbles except for the bread board (olive, sultana fennel and pumpernickel) with a light homemade hummus and yoghurt dip.
The choice of 2 types of croquetas (my favourite when in Spain) caused a bit of an ordering argument. The meaty, rich Oxtail croquetas with mushroom alioli and pickled cucumber won, but I’m going back for the Picos blue cheese and date croquetas.
We hadn’t quite got our heads around the pinchos so then had plate envy when mini skewers arrived at a nearby table… next time! The Duck and figs on pearl barley looked great, as did the Italian and Spanish meat and cheese sharing boards.
The mains offer grander dishes in the familiar small-plate formula. From the fish options we were very happy with our choice of grilled Octopus with pepperonata and hummus. It tasted super fresh, was perfectly cooked – which is tricky, and worked surprisingly well with the hummus, mixing Middle Eastern ingredients with the smoky pepper flavours of Spain.
We also enjoyed the Heritage tomato salad with squid and capers – it was delicate and tender. However, vegetarians would be limited to pimped-up falafel, grilled artichokes, or cheesy burrata or halloumi, with no real vegan options.
We followed this with Duck breast served on bulgur with date chutney. It was a rich dish, enough to share and served pink. The meat was delicious and quickly gobbled up but the bright orange carrot puree presentation did make us laugh!
Desserts included Ricotta dumplings, Baklava and Banana and pecan cake. They all sounded temptingly delicious but we decided to take a break before heading back into the feeding frenzy of Broadway Market.
The drinks list offers wines from across the Med including less typical finds from Turkey, Greece and Lebanon, by the glass starts from £5.50. There’s an impressive range of original cocktails and gin & tonic specials (£8-9) as well as a couple of mocktails (£5) and local Dalston soft drinks.
For something a bit different, Tuyo is a lovely new place not far from Walthamstow. Overall, from our samplings, the dishes combined some interesting and unusual Mediterranean ingredients in a thoughtful and well executed style. The service was lovely, and the menu and drinks are well priced for the Hackney area. Definitely worth a visit.
Tuyo: 129A Pritchard’s Road, Hackney, E2 9AP www.tuyo.london