Tuesday 5 June 2007

El Rincon Latino, Clapham Manor Street, Clapham, London

A boisterous and high-tempo tapas bar just off Clapham's main drag, El Rincon is a favourite with the hedonistic twenty and thirtysomethings that infest this area of London. Choosing from the extensive list of tapas is something of a lottery. The fresh anchovies are soaked in an overpowering vinegar better suited to fish and chips, while the lame green salad is a waste of £3.20. But the garlic king prawns with rice are chunky, tasty morsels, while the chorizo vino is rich, spicey and moreish. And the Oton Rioja, which comes in at £6.90 for a half-bottle, is surprisingly smooth and subtle. But perhaps the best thing about El Rincon is the service - despite working at a frenetic pace, the Spanish staff are patient, genial and genuinely welcoming. For a weekend table, book two weeks in advance. Otherwise you might get a stool at the bar and something of a buffering from your fellow diners. 7/10