Restaurant Review: Boqueria
I have collaborated with my brother David on a new series of posts for 2015. David's fitness brand DMG ProBalence strikes a happy medium between self-discipline and self-indulgence. For me, it's all about making small tweaks to achieve a healthier lifestyle so you feel happier in yourself. The drive behind this partnership is the diversity of our brands; whilst Very Kerri is fuelled by gin, DMG ProBalence is fuelled by protein. We want to share our collective passion for feel good and drink with our online community through this series. Enjoy!
Just throwing it out there, but I reckon Barcelona is up there on your 'Top European City' or 'Must-visit City' lists? If not, then I doubt you've been to La Boqueria Market? Breakfast at this foodie mecca is a real treat; you perch at one of the bars, drinking cortados (or more realistically, cava), chowing down on oysters or simple seasonal dishes like mushrooms with parsley. So here's the deal, I am massively missing Spain, which means a night at Boqueria in Battersea is on the cards with my bro.
The original branch is in buzzy Brixton market, but this one also rocks neighbourhood vibes down to a T. On a busy junction, this is not a site I would've put Boqueria, but I clearly need to open my eyes because it all gels. We feel at home straight away. The menu showcases top dog ingredients yet outstanding value for money at the same time. Another thing I am a fan of is any gluten free dishes being noted throughout. Before I can even utter jamón Ibérico, a lovely chap called Pedro serves up two Gin-Tonics, Spanish-style. These people know the way to my heart.
A plate of fat juicy boquerones (anchovies) make me smile, as this is how they should always be, but often aren't afforded the luxury, bro also looks pleased to be hitting up a bit of Omega-3 action. Wafer-thin courgette carpaccio kicks the humble vegetable into fifth gear, the accompanying marinated red onions and manchego shavings brining it to life with lashings of top notch olive oil.
Next up is pulpo a la Gallega. As Galicia's national dish, the pressure is on for super-tender octopus with a well-balenced paprika olive oil combo, which the Boqueria boys knock out of the park. For a moment, my mind wanders to planning a Godello and Albarino splashed trip in northwest Spain in the summer. Bringing me back to reality, punchy gambas a la plancha deliver the best garlicky kind of deliciousness I've had in ages. On the meat front, the suckling pig and pork shoulder have Very Kerri written all over them but never one to pig out too much, Bro talks me into the Chuletillas de Cordero, and I'm chuffed he did; they are perfectly rosado and go remarkably well with the very quaffable Beronia.
Let's be real, if churros were gluten free, I'd be in like Flynn. Maybe it's a good thing they're not as the little fried doughy beauties Boqueria is churning out look bloody mighty. My healthy bro draws the line here, even vetoing cheese. Fortunately, I manage to get a word in with Pedro and a selection arrives. As usual, I am all over the manchego. Bro is swayed to try some and he's digging the goats. Everyone's a winner.
G'wan, seize the EasyJet sale and book a flight to Barcelona for a weekend in the spring now, see you at the market for breakfast. Meanwhile, make it your business to get to Boqueria pronto. You know what they say; Battersea, Brixton, next stop Barcelona.
Five Very Kerri things about Boqueria
- Neighbourhood vibes
- Sincere service
- Value for money
- Gluten-free friendliness
- Sunshine food
- Click here to read David's side of the story.