England, Europe and Middle East, London, Newsletter, Restaurant Reviews, United Kingdom

Korto Cafe, Muswell Hill. London

16/08/2022 by .
Korto Cafe

Rupert Parker visits Korto Cafe, a neighbourhood restaurant near Alexandra Palace in north London.

In a quiet road, in leafy suburbia, Korto Cafe is an all-day café which turns into a restaurant on Friday and Saturday evenings. This is local, in the best sense of the word, as it’s a bit of a hike on public transport. Even on my bicycle, I manage to get lost in the wilds of Alexandra Palace.

The food is inspired by the flavours of the Southern Mediterranean and there’s a talented Spanish chef in the kitchen. Dishes are tapas style, with small plates for sharing and larger ones for mains. Inside is airy rustic chic, with both small and long tables. We opt for outside, with a table on the pavement, and order a bunch of starters, nodding to the dog walkers who pass by.

Korto Interior

The choice is familiar – Hummus and Baba Ghanoush, served with grilled pitta bread, arrive in ample portions, obviously fresh and imaginatively spiced. Pickled white anchovies with pomegranate seeds and a generous blob of spinach pesto is a combination new to me but it works well.  Salt cod croquettes, crispy on the outside and creamy in, are a credit to the chef’s Iberian heritage.

Baba Ghanoush


For mains, we go for Harissa chicken skewers, served on a bed of cherry tomatoes and fried baby potatoes with a dill dressing. Light and spicy, with the meat thinly sliced, this is more than enough for a main meal. It’s an interesting dish, straddling Asia, the Middle East and Europe not really a satay tick, but neither a kebab.

Harissa Chicken

Lamb Kofta

Our other main is Pistachio Lamb Kofta, these definitely harkening to Albondigas, Spanish meatballs, large and meaty. They’re served in a rich Catalan sauce Picada, containing garlic and ground almonds. On the side are shavings of a green vegetable which we can’t identify. Word comes from the kitchen that it’s sliced asparagus but I’m still not sure.

Both of these dishes are enough for one on their own, and the smoky, spicy potatoes and vegan aioli, which we’ve also ordered, are slightly redundant. They’re very much Patatas Bravas, but we’re not brave enough to finish them. What we do munch all of is the grilled broccoli with preserved lemon, surrounded by tiny pieces of red Padron pepper. Just the right amount of crunch and tanginess keep us coming back for more.


So to desserts, even though we’re both completely full. Basque cheesecake is decomposed, in the nicest sense, the white creamy cheesy part separates from the blueberry compote and mound of crispy crumble.  It’s do-it-yourself time and none the worse for that. More conventional is the chocolate brownie, nicely rich and moist, served with chocolate foam, almost a mousse, with toasted hazelnuts.


I must say that sitting outside, eating Mediterranean cuisine, on one of the hottest evenings of the year is delightful. It was almost as if we’ve been whisked a thousand miles south and the quality and integrity of the dishes reinforces that notion. Of course, it will get colder, the nights will draw in, but the food will still carry you away. If you’re ever in Muswell Hill, then you know where to go.

Tell Me More About Korto Cafe, Muswell Hill, London

Korto Café, Muswell Hill  126 Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 2AH

E: info@korto.co.uk T:0208 292 5841

Small tapas from £6, mains £13.50, desserts £7

Monday – Sunday 9:00am – 3:00pm  Friday & Saturday 6:00pm – 10:00pm





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