Del Parc : Fabulous Tapas in North London

I’m going to let you into a secret. A hidden gem just footsteps from my house, which serves the most delicious Spanish and North African tapas. It’s tiny and you’d barely notice it if you walked past but my lord it’s good.

If you want a relaxed, delicious, interesting meal then this is the place for you. When I go there I feel like I’m on holiday and if the weather is good you can even sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. It has a wonderfully relaxed feel to it but the food is serious stuff. Really really top quality.

I love the concept, it’s very intimate and low key. The kitchen is tiny and slap bang in the middle of the restaurant, so the chef is always on full view whilst he’s cooking up a feast. There are only about 8 or 9 tables and until recently it was just the owners, Steve and Alan, in the kitchen and running front of house. Both doing a fantastic job. They are now training up a young waiter from Barcelona to help out which seems like a sensible idea given how busy they get.

The best bit is that all the food comes as a surprise. That’s right. You don’t have to order a thing. No decisions to make. No food envy when your dining companion orders something better than you. Just let Alan know if there is anything you need to avoid, sit back, relax and wait for the food to start rolling.

I have been a number of times since I moved nearby in December and I can’t get enough. It’s not cheap, around £35 a head for the food, but it’s perfect when you want a treat.

Here are a few of my favourite dishes:

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Almonds, cubes of manchego in tarragon and some tiny marinaded olives to complement our sherry.

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The most delicious gazpacho I have ever tasted.

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Black tiger prawns with chilli, white wine, lemon and garlic. This dish is always served with bread so that you can mop up the juices and trust me, you will!

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A few slivers of delicious serano ham served with caper berries.

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Chargrilled asparagus served with almonds and romesco sauce.

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Serrano ham, goat’s cheese and bitter sweet pickled fig. I could happily poke these down all day long.

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A selection of anchovies with soft boiled quail’s eggs.

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Mackerel with ginger, vanilla, rhubarb and chilli.

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Moroccan lamb cutlets with pomegranate and butter bean mash.

There is so much more. Every time I go there’s something different. Last time we got a chicken dish with yoghurt, mint, coriander, pomegranate and who knows what else. It was one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted!

Usually you are served about 6 or 7 dishes and then asked if you would like more. Not everyone in the restaurant is given the same, so if you see something you like the look of on another table you can ask for some of that too.

The puddings are good, they sometimes have a chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream on the menu which is to die for! The cheese is also fabulous, so we often end up having both and there are plenty of desert wines to wash it all down with.

Having consulted my guide, Del Park is undoubtedly a 10/10 and quite honestly if I could afford it I’d go every week.

Del Parc on Urbanspoon

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