The scene: Next door to the fabulous Acoustic, the tapas restaurant, open Tuesday to Sunday, has been converted from a Turkish working men’s club, and its handpicked interior is something quite special. The bright-white walls and tall windows contrast cleverly against the disparate dark-wooden vintage furniture (all for sale, by the way) to create a greater sense of space than the dimensions of the compact dining room should strictly allow. Downstairs is an equally well-thought-out basement used for screenings, live music and cabaret, which happen weekly.
The grub: In recent years, tapas is a word that has suffered some denigration, mainly due in to chain restaurants dishing up banal, pre-packaged dishes. Trangallan is the antithesis of that approach. The menu affords room for some unchanging Spanish stalwarts: beautiful Iberian ham, traditional tortilla and a surprisingly bountiful green salad, while the other offerings rotate regularly. On my visit, the tomato and anchovy salad, and beef and mashed potato are particular highlights. The dishes arrive at different times, as soon as they’re ready, creating a relaxed dining experience, perfect for a midweek treat.
Behind the bar: The Trangallan doesn’t do anything by half, and takes its wine as seriously as it takes its food. Its list is comprehensive and full of surprises. The Piemonte 2009 Arcese Cortese, one of the many options available by glass, is delightful. All the wine on the menu is also available to buy for carry out.
Bill please: Tapas from £4; beer from £3.50 a pint; wine from £3.40 a glass, £16.90 a bottle.
Verdict: The dishes are expertly assembled and the menu is considerately compiled. The staff are charming and attentive without being overbearing, creating a calm environment to enjoy the Trangallan’s beautiful grub.
61 Newington Green, N16 9PX
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