So I have this friend. And when people ask how we know each other, I always say well, he’s a friend of a friend. In actual fact, he’s my friend’s ex. But my friend has said that as long as I love her more, which of course I do, infinitely more, I can be friends with him.
So, Michael, you are my friend.
Anyway, this Michael, Mike, Mikey guy, he’s a bit of a man about town. If you ever see his foursquare account it’s like what the f*** how many hours does he have in a day? How does he physically go to two restaurants and three bars a night? On a school night?!
Well, the answer really is not about bending the time and space continuum, it’s because he’s young. And social. And somehow has inside connections with like every frickin’ bar in the east side of London.
Fine ok, mainly it’s because he’s young. I mean, last Tuesday night after dinner with him at PINCHITOtapas, he dragged me to Casita for a cocktail and when I finally bowed out to go home so I could take my dentures out, his night had only just began.
So I can’t really tell you about any of the other places he went to on Tuesday night. But I can tell you about PINCHITOtapas.
PINCHITOtapas has a branch in the east end of London and one in the west. We hit up the east end location, literally 30 seconds from Old St tube, for a few tapas. After a hideous day at work, the first word I uttered when we arrived was sangria. Plain and simple sangria.
Second and third words? Jamón ibérico.
With a jug of sangria safely cordoned off on my corner of the table, we checked out the menu and specials board and ordered a selection of yummies.
Jamón ibérico, or iberico ham, is a type of Spanish cured ham and deemed the “expensive” cured ham because duh, it’s frickin’ delicious. Whether on its own or on a slice of bread with puréed fresh tomato, PINCHITOtapas‘ iberico ham were paper thin slices of salty perfection. No where near as pretty (but equally tasty in oil-soaked goodness) was the warm roasted vegetables, which somewhat looked like a sea creature had turned itself inside out, and then died.
Three other delicious dishes included pork belly with mango (off the specials menu) whose crackle was so light it was almost like the airy pork rind snacks (c’mon you know what I’m talking about). We also had the standard but trusty garlic prawns, and Michael’s choice of the night, the hanger steak, which is like a Spanish version of beef tataki, only somehow manlier (read: smokier, thicker, meatier).
No meal in my world is ever complete without dessert, and no Spanish meal is complete without churros, so the choice was a no-brainer for me. Michael opted for a special leche frita, a Spanish fried milk dessert slightly complemented by the essence of lemon and vanilla. Truth? I liked my dessert but I also wanted to kill Michael for his.
But I refrained. Because he was paying for my meal.
So that was the meal and having not had a lot of great tapas in London (I’m yet to try Barrica), I was really pleased with PINCHITOtapas – the quality of their traditional tapas as well the taste and creativity with some of the items on their specials menu.
After dinner we dropped by one of Michael’s locals, Casita, for a drink before I turned into a pumpkin.
“Dose recommends checking out Caravan, Exmouth Market. Scoop: Good barista (3rd place UK Barista Championships), good chef”
“Casita recommends Portobello Star in Notting Hill”
… you’ll all be the crazy hot thangs around town soon, while I sleep. With my dentures out.
32 Featherstone Street
Old Street, EC1Y 8QX
0207 490 0121