Llerena: Jamón & Salud Iberico Tapas Bar, Angel
Just along from Islington Assembly Hall lies this unassuming tapas bar, a bright and breezy collection of Spain’s most classic food and drink. From Ibérico acorn-fed pork to piquillo pepper-filled black pudding, plenty of the dishes are paired with Extremadura wines.
Portions are large and beers are Spanish; among a plethora of tapas bars in Angel, Llerena stands out for good value and smiling service.
We started off with Pan Con Tomate (£2.75); perfect at any time of day, the crusty bread doused in garlicy fresh tomato is a precursor to the weekend brunch menu. The Extremadura Full Breakfast takes in grilled-cooked pancetta, fried potatoes, chorizo, Padron peppers, cherry tomatoes and more toasts, topped with Iberian ham or ‘Artesano’ cheeses (£9.75).
Next, you might share a Spanish omelette or oxtail croquettes, followed by star dish Berenjenas Con Miel Des Cana (crunchy aubergine slices fried in moreish sugar cane honey, £5.75). Save room for the well-priced Bacalao Dorado, a perfect mess of shoestring fries, salt cod and egg hash, topped with piquillo peppers (£7).
Classic options include patatas bravas, octopus and baked potatoes and Iberia blood sausage stew. Be sure to try something from the Premium Grill Cuts section – we can recommend the Sollomillo Iberico, succulent pieces of pork tenderloin, gloriously marbled and tender (half portion £10.50).
ANYTHING ELSE? It’d be rude not to finish with some churros con chocolate or a little vino dulce (with a Cream Bertola at £5, who could say no?).
DETAILS: 167 Upper Street, London, N1 1US