El Vino is next door to McClements bistro, and this is not a coincidence as it is under the same ownership. Here the idea is classical Spanish tapas. The dining room is modest, with wood floors and simple furnishings, 100 yards from Twickenham BR station. Olives were encouragingly good, as was a simple but well made garlic bread, which was not over-crisp. Fresh marinated sardines on toast had good quality sardines (12/20) while Russian salad with fresh chives has fresh ingredients and a pleasantly balanced dressing (12/20).
Quail breast was tender (13/20) while a paella of chicken with chorizo was well executed, the rice having the right texture for the paella (12/20). Mushroom croquettes with aioli were simply fried, again the aioli being well judged in terms of balance (12/20). Hot sautéed garlic and chilli prawns were tender, the spices lively but not out of control (13/20). A mini risotto with butternut squash was also well made, the rice having absorbed the stock well, the dish garnished with Parmesan (12/20).
Overall this was not as good as Salt Yard, but was well above average tapas. The only odd note was an advertised “cured Iberian Jabugo ham” which I have to say looked and tasted nothing like the dark, complex Pata negra ham I was expecting and tasted like a much more ordinary ham – indeed more like a Serrano ham.