Tucked away by railway arches near Tower Bridge is the burgeoning Maltby Street Market and in one of the arches we found this absolute gem of a tapas bar. Now I’ve travelled widely in Spain and had tapas ranging from the brilliant to the awful so, although I don’t claim to be an expert, I know my boquerones from my albondigas. My favourite city for tapas is Alicante, which reckons itself, among other things, to be the home of tapas. I’m not sure if this is entirely accurate but I’m always on the lookout for bars in London serving the quality of dishes that I’ve had over there.
The first thing about Tozino you notice is that it is very much a bar and not a restaurant, with seating mainly on high stools around the large bar, while the second is the hams hanging from the ceiling – so far so authentic. The menu is small (good!) and various hams feature prominently on it. We had some of the Los Pedroches acorn fed, black pig ham, one of the cheaper offerings, but it was still melt-in-the-mouth. Along with some olives and salted almonds, this got us off to a good start as we got stuck into the Ribera del Duero red wine. There were some specials on a board and we chose a black rice with squid, a pork and a chick pea stew and a migas dish (chorizo with egg and croutons) – all delicious. We finished off with a very generous and tasty cheeseboard – perfect!
The total bill for three of us excluding service was £66 so definitely not bank-breaking. Tozino is open Wednesday through Sunday (check website for times) but the best time to go in our opinion is Sunday lunchtime – the market opens on a Sunday so you can have a browse, but as yet, it’s not as packed as Saturdays and, seeing that they don’t take reservations, that’s a definite plus. Tozino took my mind back to many pleasant afternoons and evenings by the Mediterranean – until I stepped out into the chill November air! But if you love Spain and its tapas you’ll love Tozino – salud!