Londonist asks that most pressing of daily concerns: where to go on your lunch break.
93 Columbia Road E2 7RG
Reservations: 0207 729 1147
12pm-3pm, 7-11pm (Tuesday – Saturday)
9am – 3pm (Sunday)
Expect to Pay: £5 for most tapas
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
After last week’s lunch of very good but still not phenomenal tapas at Meson los Barriles, we were left desperate for some proper Spanish cooking. So, going on the avid advice of an East London business owner, we headed over to the Columbia Road family-run restaurant, Laxeiro, for what turned out to be a wonderful highlight to a nice Sunday out.
Even for a sunny bustling afternoon with the Columbia Road Flower Market in full swing, getting a table outside required little wait but did present the drawbacks of occasional panhandlers as well as the cocked heads and ogling eyes of other apparently hungry pedestrians zooming in on the delicacies laid out in front of us. A small price to pay, considering the view of street life and rays of precious sunshine we enjoyed during our meal.
And, of course, who could blame anyone for scoping the goodies before us? Indeed, our spread was a sight: a plentiful basket of bread that was so much more delicious than otherwise expected, a homey order of patatas bravas, a gorgeous and irresistible plate of boquerones (whitebait in vinegar & olive oil), some subtly flavoured sautéed fennel and three meaty grilled sardines, which tasted as a back garden summer BBQ might … if catered by Juan Mari Arzak. A small (in name only) jug of Sangria confirmed the meal to be ideal and worth many a repeat visit. Between bites, superlatives, such as “awesome”, rolled off our tongues in appreciation. Hours later, similar sentiments about the good food at Laxeiro remained a topic of conversation.
Clearly, this is an optimal lunch choice if visiting the Columbia Road Sunday Flower Market and as with any tapas outing, the best way to experience it is to come with friends to be able to sample more items. Service is brilliant and the quality of food is phenomenal. Go.
Photography by Tiki Chris © 2007