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Thursday, January 10, 2013
»Comedor – which means dining room in Spanish – adopts the ambitious mantle of the pan-south American restaurant.
It’s a new concept on me, but all the classics are represented from that beguiling culinary continent – churrasco from Argentina, beans from Columbia and plenty from on-trend Peru.
In keeping with many of the eateries in Upper Street, Comedor doubles as a bar, staying open to a hangover-inducing 5am, which might not be good for the neighbours, but means the cocktail selection is up to scratch.
A pisco sour always goes down a treat and we swilled a couple of excellent varieties while watching the Islington set go about their Friday night business.
Comedor Grill and Bar, 176 Upper Street, N1 1RG
Tube: Highbury and Islington
Tel: 020 7354 2843
Mains: from £6.50
Wine: from £15.50
Children welcome: Yes
Disabled access: Yes
To start, I insisted my friend tried ceviche for the first time, and he wasn’t disappointed – moist, succulent chunks of pollock in a tart citrus marinade with crunchy Peruvian corn.
Meanwhile I plumped for the empanadas – cheeky and satisfying little pasties filled with spiced beef and a tangy onion relish.
We couldn’t help but notice the 700 gram steak on the menu, but instead went for something a little more tender and refined – I think the waitress was genuinely disappointed with my lack of gusto when I ordered the fillet.
It was still a fair sized cut though (300 gram) and for £21 was a bargain. Mine was a touch overdone, but the other came out perfect; charred on the outside, pink and tender in the middle.
Comedor excels on the sauce front – as well as an earthy chimichurri we had an excellent tomato and chilli Aji dip and a very garlicky alioli. The sides were also good and represented something different – sauteed sweet potato, mashed potato and squash and some very tasty re-fried beans.
Predictably, we washed all this down with a Mablec – at £18 the Trivente was a little aggressive and we might have been better off choosing the Alfredo Roca for a few pounds more.
Then in favour of a pudding we went for a rather fiery Peruvian brandy.
Not only does Comedor offers some unusual and toothsome dishes, in the main it does the old favourites well too.
The prices are cheap and the cocktails great: there is very little not to like.