David Adamson is doubly impressed with the Colombian cafe on Dale St
What: The Twins Flavour
Where: Dale Street
Food/drink type: Colombian and Latin American street food
When: Tuesday to Saturday 12pm to 9pm, Sunday 12pm to 6pm
Independent or chain: Independent
A few doors down from the grand, imposing Municipal Hotel sits the much more modest exterior of The Twins Flavour, a Colombian and Latin American cafe run by two sisters.
Decked out in fun themes nodding to their homeland, including a sword hanging on the wall (sheathed of course), the cafe has a vibrant, joyous palette of red, blue and yellow.
The building itself, neighbouring barbers and corner shops, is laid out in similarly cosy style using the space as effectively as possible. Downstairs is the kitchen and counter, where you could hurry in to pick up your lunch, and upstairs is a dining area well-suited to wiling away your lunch hour.
In no rush, I took a seat upstairs.
The main event
Authenticity can be overstated sometimes when it comes to menus, but here it’s a lesson in the delights and subtleties of Colombian cuisine, with the dishes in their native Spanish and descriptions to guide along the unfamiliar.
I decided on something hearty and full for a lunch ahead of wandering around the city; the chicharron - deep fried pork belly with rice, cassava root and chimichurri salsa.
Pork belly can sometimes set you up for disappointment, promising a teeth-shattering treat only to deliver something soggy. This wasn’t the case here, the pork belly seemed to have been aired out to the point of almost disappearing into the ether, before being dropped into volcanic oil and sealed in a delicious batter. Every layer of the belly was beautifully fatty and well seasoned with a smoky chilli undercurrent running through it, and the crackling a delicious dentist’s nightmare.
The rice was buttery to say the least, as much a meal in itself, and reminded me that simplicity is always a winner. All that was then needed was some sauce, and the chimichurri was on repeat order.
It was a heady, moreish concoction of coriander along with lots of lime and chilli that was finished as quickly as it was laid down at the table.
All this with a bottle of Club Colombia lager makes for an ideal lunchtime to power you along the wide and winding streets of the city on a sunny day.
Another delicious and delightfully friendly addition to the culinary makeup of a city that already has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to foods from all over the world.
To be set up in bricks and mortar, rather than the contemporary curse of a food van, allows The Twins Flavour to be more than simply somewhere to eat. It can bed into the place and be somewhere for lunch, but also so much more.
The Twins Flavour, 60 Dale Street L2 5ST