Given how much I hate ‘making a fuss’ in restaurants I have been known to dig in and hope for the best on the gluten front, usually with tummy-churning consequences. I’ve been a bit laissez-faire regarding cross-contamination in the past, but recently have been almost militant in pursuit of a crumb-free diet and it has paid off massively for my general health. So, emboldened by this (and several glasses of Rioja) I set about hindering my friends’ ready-for-the-weekend hunger by being a bit of a nutter and making demands of the staff as well as photographing everything that came so I could remember it!
After an initially slow start (c’mon it’s Friday we need a drink already!) Camino rose to the challenge- presenting me with a menu which the chef had marked with the dishes I could have (a pretty big choice). The friendly Spanish waiter helped me with my uncharacteristic territorial moment by keeping an eagle eye on the dishes as they were prepared and sending the ones I had ordered to me first avoiding any accidental double-dipping. Sorry friends! I also kept the menu to remind me which things I could try.
We were doubly awkward by ordering about 16 different dishes, but soon the food was coming thick and fast and there were some real stunners including a fabulous meaty monkfish wrapped in salty, dry Serrano ham; some fresh and nicely charred asparagus and surprisingly- a proper fatty butifarra negra (black pudding) with some seriously spicy peppers- which after some dubious prodding on my part (beware the sausages) I concluded was rice-, not rusk-based, and tucked into with glee.
I was too full for dessert, but could have happily rounded things off with a crema Catalana or ginger icecream if there was any space.
It was so nice to be able to relax into the buzz of the venue, enjoy the arms flying round and the heat of the grill and after another glass or two, embarrass myself and the staff with my bad Spanish. Refreshing to know that my headache this morning is more to do with the red wine than anything else!
Camino’s a bit of a hidden gem in an otherwise grotty part of London. Great atmosphere, tasty food, and pretty well ‘apta para celiacos’ :D