Restaurant Shepard's Market Mayfair Anchovies Los Boquerones London Top Tapas Bar Restaurante Espanol

Restaurant Shepard’s Market Mayfair

El Pirata serving the best Spanish tapas one of the top tapas bar and restaurants in London since 1994 superb function party room in Mayfair.

Enjoy Boquerones at Restaurant Shepard’s Market

Savour Boquerones at Restaurant Shepard’s Market

Fishy story

Anchovies are as divisive as Marmite: some people love them, some people hate them. But the anchovies in the Spanish tapas dish boquerones don’t taste at all like the salty anchovies that turn up in Caesar salads or (heaven forfend) as a pizza topping.

Boquerones en vinagre, to give the dish its full name, is much milder. The fish are marinated in vinegar, or a mixture of vinegar and olive oil and are seasoned with garlic and parsley and the flesh turns from brown to white in the marinade. They’re usually served with beer rather than wine, and they’re really popular in Spain during the hot summer months garnished with capers or olives. Naturally, the fish are cleaned, descaled and deboned before they are marinated.

Fishy Story at our Restaurant near Shepard’s Market

There are around 140 anchovy species in the world, but in Spain and the UK boquarones will be European anchovies. These small blue fish feed on plankton in vast shoals – and they’re eaten by just about everything including predatory fish, dolphins, seals, and seabirds like herring gulls and gannets. Surprisingly, though, they’re doing well: the International Union for the Conservation of Nature gives them a status of ‘least concern’.

Boquarones is an historic dish. Preservation of anchovies in salt or vinegar dates back more than 3,000 years to the Andalusian kingdom of Tertessos in the eighth century BC, and were prized by the Sephardic Jews present in Spain until the 15th Century.

If you’re brave enough, and you’d like to taste a little piece of history, El Pirata on Mayfair’s Down Street has boquerones on its ‘lite bites’ menu.

El Pirata serving the best Spanish tapas one of the top tapas bar and restaurants in London since 1994 superb function party room in Mayfair.