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With a new chef and revamped menu, Toro Gordo offers an authentic Spanish dining experience for under £30

‘I live in Hammersmith and I always wanted Toro Gordo to be a proper neighbourhood restaurant and bar,’ says Miguel Caffarena. ‘My idea was to create a friendly, welcoming place that I’d enjoy going to myself, whether for lunch, for a beer and tapas after work or for a meal.’

Toro Gordo opened on King Street four years ago, serving delicious Spanish tapas with, unusually, an Asian influence. In recent months Miguel has made some significant changes. ‘You could say that our adventure is beginning again. I’ve recruited a talented chef, Ellie from Malaga, and we’ve worked to refine the menu.

‘Everything is freshly made every day using the best ingredients; we’ve kept the most popular original dishes and added fantastic new choices. Also, I’ve put together exciting offers such as a lunchtime tapas box for £10 and a beer and a tapa for £5 on Thursday evenings.’

Miguel has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, starting from the ground up. ‘I came to London with £500 in my pocket when I was 20. My first job was making coffee and after that I worked my way up from kitchen porter to waiter to restaurant manager.’

So, which tapas would Miguel highlight from the menu? ‘The Grilled Lamb Cutlet is superb, our regulars love the classic Gambas Pil Pil (spicy prawns) and the Panfried Seabass and Seared Scallops are real favourites.’ And what about that Asian influence which is clearly evident in the menu – for example, Green Tea Chocolate Cheesecake – and stylish decor? ‘I spent three years living in Japan and loved the culture. So I just thought, why not!’

The menu is complemented by an excellent wine list – Miguel recommends Emilio Moro reds and the white Rioja – sherries, sangrias and beers (both Spanish and Japanese).

The restaurant can be hired for private parties and corporate events and it’s the perfect place to meet friends for lunch, to relax after work or for a meal before seeing a show at the Apollo or Lyric. One thing is certain: at Toro Gordo you’ll enjoy the true taste of Spain.

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