Galician Soul Food for Autumn in London
by The Tapas Lunch Company
From the TLC Blog
Galician expat Marta Lopez uncovers London’s most authentic Galician restaurants.
Us Galicians know that our food is warm and welcoming at all times but once Summer is over and Autumn comes, we remember those special dishes we have been enjoying over the years while celebrating family reunions; the ones that make our kitchen unique and so tasty. For instance, October is the time for mushrooms and for what we call A recollida do cogomelo, which means literally picking from the forest- An art form for us- Thanks to this practice we bring setas to the menu by preparing dishes such as Empanada de setas (Mushroom pastry), garlic mushrooms or the delicious Revuelto de setas, which also comes with prawns and eggs. I don’t tend to go to the countryside to collect the ingredients for myself, but I always try to visit the venues owned by Galician people, where the food and the atmosphere make me feel at home.
Here are my 3 favourite Galician venues in the British capital:
El Trangallán: Art, Culture and Modern Galician Cuisine
It´s a gastro cultural restaurant based in Stoke Newington and everything on the menu taste like heaven. Opened in 2011, behind this business there are three friends that made their dream come true by putting their different skills into action: Eduardo García, a young chef from Ourense (Galicia), Borja Sagasti, a performance artist from Vitoria (Basque Country) and Sofia Curi, an Argentinian fashion designer. Whoever visits El Trangallán will quickly fall in love with their daily-changing menu and of course with the wine list- They sell the best Galician and Catalan white wines ever! My choice: Benito Santos Albariño and Cava Recaredo. It´s worth having dinner here on Saturday night while attending one of the hilarious performances by Borja and various other actors.
61 Newington Green, London
Centro Galego: Traditional Galician Dishes & Great Atmosphere
Galician cooking is all about feeling passion for the ingredients. And this is exactly what you find at La Casa de Galicia, the real Galician embassy in London. It was opened in the 60s by a group of expats living in London who wished to meet more Galician neighbours. Today, this venue is the real meeting point for the members of the club, and its tasca is an open space for anyone looking for quality and warm food. If you love seafood, don´t hesitate to visit it. Mussels, prawns and many other dishes cooked with the fruits of the sea are available from the authentic menu. For party lovers, the restaurant has a dance floor and live music every Friday and Saturday night until 1 am, where you can enjoy a mixture of Spanish and English music - I´m sure they play Galician classics such as A Rianxeira…-
869 Harrow Road, London
Restaurante Galicia: A Spanish corner in Notting Hill
Not far from Ladbroke Grove tube station there´s a place called “Galicia”, where traditional tapas are served on a red and white paper tablecloth. Here you´ll instantly feel the real atmosphere thanks to the locals that often sit there and chat with the barmen in Spanish - and of course in Galician. The menu is full of homemade dishes such as albóndigas, croquetas or pulpo a la gallega. Of course, they don´t forget about Albariño wine and pimientos de padrón either! This place is authentic and friendly but please, don´t expect any kind of posh service. What matters here is the food!
323 Portobello Road, London
I´m not going to lie; I do miss Galicia, but having places like these is the best cure for the homesickness. At the end of the day it’s all about food, isn’t? For those travelling from anywhere in the UK and missing their home food or hoping to try it for the first time, you can compare London hotels at Hotel Club. Once you have finished your lunch, I´m sure you´ll be ready for a strong coffee. The good news is that the central area of Notting Hill- Where Galicia restaurant is based- houses a large community of Spaniards who have created their own Spanish café culture in the area. My tip: Visit La Cibeles (246 Portobello Road) and have a cortado with a slice of Tarta de Santiago.
Nearest Tube Station: Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City Line) & Notting Hill Gate (Central Line)
By: Marta López García