Tucked away opposite a fish and chip shop on Newington Green, Trangallan is not the most likely place to find what is perhaps the most interesting list of Spanish wines in the city. The brainchild of Galician sommelier Xabi Alvarez and friends, the restaurant’s weathered walls and creaky floorboards, seats and tables make it one of the more pleasant spots to grab a glass in town.
Alvarez is particularly passionate about vermouth and sherry and keeps plenty of bottles open by-the-glass; take his lead here and order a few anchovies and a little mojama while you delve into the list proper, which includes everything bastions of the Rioja old-school, like Lopez de Heredia, to the thrillingly unique, tinajas-aged wines of rising star Rafa Bernabe to the briny albariños of Rodri Mendez. The food is rustic and spot-on with the wines (don’t miss the caldeirada, a Galician fish stew heady with paprika, garlic and good olive oil). And on a clear day, diners spill out onto the terrace with a glass of something and a few olives, a scene so Spanish you forget you’ll forget you’re in London.