323 Portobello Road,
(020) 8969 3539
The ViewLondon Review
An old school Spanish restaurant on Portobello Road.
Galicia has successfully transferred some of that northwestern Spanish charm to the north tail-end of the Portobello markets; it may have an unremarkable exterior, but beyond the tiny outdoor tables is a narrow but warm little restaurant reminiscent of family-run establishments in Spain. In the front the bar/foyer/dining area sets the scene for a lively night, and tucked below the balcony steps is a more private corridor-wide seating area.
Doting grandfatherly-figures play hosts here. They are so seasoned they are able to move at a pace that satisfies both the clients and their heavy footsteps. Yellow lights and yellow walls do not try to make up for the lack of sunlight - they set to reinforce the surreptitious air.
Galician food is hard to pinpoint because thrives on variety. It should come as no surprise then that the menu here is extensive in its selection - the tapas (about £3 - £6) and main (£7 to £15) menus are equally wide-ranging. Familiar tapas options like albondigas and paella fortunately still hold a place on the menu. A portion each of the large chewy salty meatballs and the Arroz Casero (paella) would be plenty for a snack. However, the cold-in-the-middle meatballs can taste very one-dimensional, and the aromatic saffron-coloured arroz sorely lacks the crispy crust paellas are known for.
As with most traditional Spanish restaurants, the wine list sticks to its country and classics. The selection, like Galician cuisine, is extremely varied - in price as well as in quality. Prices start from £9.95 for a bottle of house wine.
The Last Word
The menu is made more economical with a three-course set lunch for £8.50. Spanish nationals don't stray too far from Galicia.
Galicia has been reviewed by 16 users