If you’re looking for a lovely, buzzy spot to have a bite or two to eat, we recommend canal-side Tuyo just next to hip Broadway Market in East London. (We nabbed the window-seat overlooking the berry-laden canal bank – perfect for people- and canal-boat-watching on a sunny Saturday evening.)
With an open kitchen just by the entrance, the light, bright restaurant offers Mediterranean and Levantine small plates in a clever mix of flavours. We loved the delicious selection of breads (mixed olive, sultana fennel and pumpernickel) which were almost a meal in themselves, especially when smothered in Tuyo’s homemade dips (the refreshingly light hummus & yoghurt as well as the rich sweet date butter).
For perfectly cooked seafood, we recommend the chargrilled seabream and octopus (the dish is given depth of flavour by hummus, cooked peppers and cumin yoghurt) and the seabream (served with the classic accompaniment of puy lentils but given an Eastern Mediterranean twist by the addition of avocado and goat’s cheese). We also loved Tuyo’s take on Spanish croquettes (juicy balls of oxtail which went well with a zingy accompaniment of pickled cucumber) and refreshing Turkish-influenced salad of chargrilled halloumi, roast beetroot, orange and hazelnuts.
For pudding, we chose Tuyo’s modern version of Baklava (big enough for two) – a delicious deconstructed dish consisting of almond pastry, caramelised nuts, mint yoghurt and fresh mango….
Here they share one of their fabulous seafood recipes….
Octopus with peperonata, hummus and cumin yoghurt
Serves 6-8 as a tapa
For the octopus:
1 frozen octopus 1.5 – 2kg
3/4 bay leaves
1 red onion, skin on, cut in half
For the peperonata:
6 large red peppers, de-seeded and finely sliced
4 banana shallots, peeled and finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp of dark brown sugar
100ml Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil for cooking
Sea salt and black pepper
For the hummus:
400g tin chickpeas
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2tsp ground cumin
4tbsp Greek yoghurt
1tsp ground sumac
1 Discard the octopus head. Place the tentacles in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add the bay leaves, red onion and peppercorns. Place the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and skim off any impurities that rise to the top. Cook for about 2-3 hours until tender (a small, sharp knife should be able to penetrate a thick part of the flesh easily). Remove the octopus from the liquid and leave to cool.
2 To make the peperonata, heat a medium-sized saucepan over a high heat and add a good slug of olive oil. Add the peppers, shallots and garlic and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add the bay leaves, thyme, sugar, vinegar and lemon. Mix well before reducing the heat to medium. Continue to cook and stir, making sure nothing sticks. Check for seasoning, then remove from the heat to rest. The sauce should have a sweet-sour flavour.
3 To make the hummus, place the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, cumin, lemon juice and olive oil in a food blender, and blend together until smooth.
4 Heat a grill pan or barbecue to maximum heat and rub the octopus tentacles with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the tentacles until crisp and lightly charred. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the tentacles and serve with the peperonata, hummus and Greek yoghurt sprinkled with a little sumac.