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Ham-mer time La Tavernita Daily 10.30am-midnight. 55-3 Xingfucun Zhonglu, Chaoyang District (6417 5598) 朝阳区幸福村中路55-3号

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1km west of Tuanjiehu station (Line 10)

t’s not often a restaurant’s primary piece ofartwork is a giant dry-cured ham leg. But we’re not complaining, and in fact, we’re pleased. With a meltin-your-mouth interior, La Tavernita’s Iberico ham is imported from Spain, along with the restaurant’s managers and chefs. In addition to Spanish favorites like the olive oil-flecked gazpacho Andaluz (RMB 35) and the salty and fresh ensalada Valencia (RMB 70), La Tavernita will make you say ole! with its tapas deal – three tapas for RMB 95 including a drink. The choices range from aubergine and red pepper with cod, to ham and cheese croquettes served with red romaine lettuce, to the endearingly named patatas bravas (brave potatoes) served with a spicy salsa puree and melted cheese. But if you’re having trouble picking from the list, remember the ham. It didn’t come all the way from Valencia for nothing. The toasted ham with grated tomato (RMB 30) is a poster child for the balance between bright and savory, and the broken eggs with ham (RMB 50) takes the heavenly pairing of crispy ham and soft-baked eggs and puts them on a bed of sliced and spiced potatoes. Top it off with a cortado coffee (RMB 18) or carajillo ron (espresso with rum, RMB 40) and the meal will be deemed perfecto. Marissa Kennedy

photo: KEN

Also try: Tapas Café, Carmen

Gazpacho andaluz

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December 2013

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