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Take-it-away review: Hola Paella, Greenwich Market
TAKE IT AWAY
7-7a Greenwich Market,
Tel: 020 8858 0695
This summer, Greenwich seems the ideal Take it Away destination.
There are so many grassy spots to enjoy the (albeit intermittent) sunshine and with the newly-restored Cutty Sark and pervasive Olympic buzz, the town centre is outdoing the finest of indoor dining offerings.
Tucked away in Greenwich Indoor Market, Hola Paella has picnic-perfect stock. A cheese and meat counter next to antipasti delights and marinated mixed olives transports you to rustic Spain.
There is a treasure trove of preserves and wholesome ingredients on labyrinthine wooden shelving to browse while you wait for your order.
The friendly staff were patient and took time to decipher the Hispanic titles on the menu.
I chose a mixed paella dish (small/medium/large £4/£6/£7.50) served to punters through an outdoors hatch, an antipasti tapas selection of artichokes, stuffed peppers and courgettes (£4.50), sliced manchego curado cheese (£3.50) - all washed down with a cup of “Benji’s homemade sangria” (£3.50).
I tucked into my tapas to-go by the river. The paella was packed into a light wooden bowl with a jaunty hat which kept it toasty. Crunchy shellfish and chicken and pork chunks ensured the dish was tasty, while the rice itself was a trifle bland.
The antipasti offset the warm paella with chilled and generously spiced goats cheese packed peppers, and a garlic-laced oil drizzled across the artichokes and courgette.
As a cheese fiend, the generous portion of manchego was pleasing – the nutty, hard-textured slices were delicious.
The sangria was refreshing and light and doused the slight antipasti flame, but could have benefitted from more fruit for a burst of sweetness and flavour.
Food **** Excellent and varied spread
Service **** The staff were cheerful and attentive
Interior/décor **** Well-presented and ideal for browsing while you wait