Mum just told me that my posts are too wordy. It’s possible that she’s my only reader, so I’ll try and keep this one bite-size. Which is probably appropriate, given that I’m writing about a tapas restaurant.
Wednesday night. Parsons Green (don’t worry, I wasn’t wearing a pink shirt or suede loafers). We walked west, away from the green and down the New Kings Road in search of Tendido Cuatro.
We found it easily; the inside of the restaurant is painted fluorescent orange.
This is the sister restaurant of Cambio de Tercio and Tendido Cero in South Ken. I’ve been meaning to go to both of these for ages, but (for no good reason) still haven’t been to either (have a look at London Eater and Matthew Norman’s reviews of CdT to see why I want to go). They’ll have to wait a bit longer. I was glad for the opportunity to try their sibling, though.
First impression, like I said, is the lurid colour of the walls. The second is the excellent smell coming from the open kitchen, which is just in front of you as you enter. A good sign.
We tried about 7 dishes on the varied menu. A couple of these were very good. None were bad. I liked the order in which they were brought to us.
The first dish was one of the best – anchovies marinaded [marinated/marinaded?] in sherry vinegar and olive oil. Tangy. Tasty. Lovely. There was some ok bread on the side to mop up the marinade. Anchovies are a bit of a Marmite type food. But I can’t think why anyone wouldn’t love them.
Toasted bread topped with a pureed tomato spread and jamon Iberico were nice – though I didn’t think the ham was all that. The Serrano ham and bechemel croquettes had a delicate crunch on the outside and a pleasing warm and cheesy inside. I liked the tomato and thyme puree they were served with. These were good. But I couldn’t help thinking they were a little like something you get in a supermarket canape selection.
The Spanish omelette wasn’t great. Not much flavour and I think had been sitting in the fridge most of the day. I would have thought that you should be able to judge a tapas place on the quality of its omelette. Yet I’ve only ever had one really great one (at Fino); so it was disappointing but not a surprise that Tendido Cuatro’s offering was a bit poor.
Next came the best dish of the day – prawns a la plancha. A friend of mine loves the prawns at Brindisa so much he has them for starter, main and dessert (no, really, he does). I think these are better. Large prawns that have been shelled (though the heads and tails remain on), marinated [marinaded? Whatever, I'm not sure what in] and griddled. Caramelised. A little bit sticky. A lot of taste. The chunk of lemon on the side was welcome too.
Aubergine chips with rosemary honey were a bit weird. They looked smart – the aubergines had been carved into the shape of thick cut chips and were stacked, gastropub style. But they were a bit limp and soggy, really.
Griddled squid came in a sauce that was similar to the anchovy marinade. But this final dish wasn’t as good as the first. The squid was cut into little rectangles (about 1cm wide, 2cm long) which didn’t seem right to me. And, maybe because they were so small, the squid pieces were a touch overcooked and were edging towards being tough and chewy.
So, some of the dishes weren’t amazing, but all were pleasant. If you’re looking for somewhere in that part of town, it’s worth a look; there’s quite a lot more on the menu and I understand they do a mean paella. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a good atmosphere (it was pretty busy given we ate late in the evening and in the middle of the week), which should make your meal fun.
Hope that held your attention Mum.
Tendido Cuatro in 3 words
Orange. Smells nice.
£80 bought enough food for two people, a bottle of red, a couple of espressos and service.
www.cambiodetercio.co.uk - 108-110 New Kings Road, Parsons Green, SW6 4LY 020 7371 5147