I’ve tooted the horn for Tooting many times because it honestly is a really diverse and great place to find excellent food.
And if there aren’t enough reasons already to avoid homecooking, another one arrived earlier this month.
The people behind the wonderful Meza and unique Little Bar have joined forces to create The Little Taperia – a small bustling tapas place on Tooting High Street.
I went with two friends on Friday to see if this would be another place which will contribute to my growing waistband and depleted bank account.
After a small mix-up over whether I had booked a table or not, we sat down. (For the record – they don’t take bookings)
The restaurant is on the small side and was heaving on this Friday night. We were sat at a table in the back room where you can watch the chefs in what appeared to be a very calm, efficient open kitchen.
After being sat down for a while we had to ask for a drinks menu from one of the waitresses who were constantly running from front to back.
We ordered a bottle of the lovely Santa Julia Malbec and our attention soon turned to the menu which features many familiar dishes and a few new ones which tempted us.
The much tweeted-about scotch eggs were a must. They came with an oozy quail’s egg inside and morcilla instead of traditional sausage meat.
I feel like these scotch egg variants have become very fashionable recently and although I am not a blood sausage fan, the mixture of textures and flavours worked excellently. The soft, sweet, roasted red peppers made each forkful even better.
Chorizo is always a must for me at any tapas restaurant and the little individual rugby ball-shaped bites served here were delicious. They weren’t too oily and needed no accompaniment because the salty, spicy flavour was perfect.
The salt cod fritters were little balls of fishy goodness, again with a lovely contrast of textures and a good strong aioli which they did not scrimp on.
The croquetas I didn’t like so much as I found them lacking a little in flavour and there was more cheese than ham which was slightly disappointing.
The courgette tortilla was really tasty with nice chunks of different coloured courgette which just fell out as you cut it. It went really well with the spinach special which came with pine nuts but seemed to be missing the raisins on this occasion. A good thing for me – I don’t really mix fruit and savoury…
We finished the evening with the squid stuffed with morcilla on pisto (sort of Spanish ratatouille). I think by this point I was done with pork and perhaps would have preferred the squid on its own which was really tender. However, my friend really enjoyed it and had no problem finishing it off.
But then we were all defeated. They might have been little plates of food but they were very filling, and we didn’t even have room for cheese!
We were really impressed with the Little Taperia’s food, drink and atmosphere. The service was a little iffy but I would put that down to teething problems, given it was only their second Friday I think. The staff were really friendly and enthusiastic and the really reasonable prices makes this another great addition to our lovely corner of south London.