Taberna Do Mercado: Cured Meat, Tinned Fish, Guaranteed Vibes

Hot ticket Nuno Mendes of Viajante and Chiltern Firehouse has brought a little slice of sunny Portugal to Spitalfields Market.

Having just come from the London Coffee Festival at the Old Truman Brewery, we’re pretty wired. Nothing a crisp glass of fizz can’t solve, today in the form of Caves Sao Joao. Outro! The list is devoted to Portuguese wine, providing an opportunity to explore different expressions of some favourite grapes, like Alvarinho in my case.

From snacks to small plates, the menu is a delight to the eye; when I get to the ‘house tinned fish’ section, I’m hooked. We choose copita and chouriço from the cured meats available, all carved at the counter. The results are generous plates of wafer-thin meaty goodness.

Sensational cod cheeks in lemon oil are the best I’ve had since Madrid last year; little nuggets of joy I tell you. What I would give to mop some of *that* lemon oil up with the rustic bread... ![](/content/images/2015/05/IMG_6221.JPG) Tender cuttlefish sits in a moreish garlicky sauce, which I might be a tad obsessed with. I can’t put my finger on why I keep going back for more. Just-seared corvina steak comes with a crunchy salsa and lashings of the best olive oil in town. So yeah, it’s fair to say, the small plates just dominated. ![](/content/images/2015/05/IMG_6224.JPG) ![](/content/images/2015/05/IMG_6225.JPG) Taberna do Mercado is hardly open and there’s already a real-people-family-vibe to the place. Annoyingly, it’s no-bookings in the evenings, but that’s just a compliment to Mendes and his stellar smiling team.

Five Very Kerri things about Taberna do Mercado

  1. New wines to try
  2. Olive oil so good you’ll buy a bottle
  3. Sunshine food
  4. House-tinned fish
  5. The Loos. You’ll see