I genuinely can't belive the bad press Galicia gets. I really enjoy it every time I go. I always order tapas rather than one of the bigger dishes, so perhaps that's it! Galacia has great atmosphere and quality fresh tapas. I've never encountered any rudeness, either. I heartily recommend it.
I was really shocked by the rudeness of the Galicia waiter. I found the place very unfriendly and our meal was pretty dreadful too. The fish was not fresh and the whole meal had a very greasy feel to it. If I had to some it up, I would say - yuck, horrible. Avoid Galicia. However, if you like cigarette smoke with your meal, this is the place for you!
If economy is everything to you - Galicia is the place!
It's cheap in every way. The staff are uncivilised and extremely rude; they act as if they are doing you a favour by letting you eat in their smokey and dingy restaurant. There is no quality to the food and the place is run by a bunch of ill-mannered peasants!
Galicia is a Spanish restaurant at the top of Portobello Road in the heart of a Spanish community so we were expecting good things. However what we experienced was the complete opposite and the whole evening was a total disappointment.
The staff were very non-attentive and at times down right rude. When we arrived we were shown to a small table beside the kitchen door at the back of the restaurant and told that as there were only 2 of us we could not sit anywhere else despite the fact the restaurant was almost empty - even when we left it still remained less than half full. When we were served it was in a very rushed, impatient manner, which made us leave as soon as we had finished our meal.
We had to wait ages to order any food - and when it came we could only have it in dribs and drabs, as the table wasn't big enough to accommodate all the dishes. It was very obvious when it came that some of it had been sitting in the kitchen getting cold. To be fair the garlic mushrooms and the patatas bravas were good but the calamari and the mussels were the worst we have ever tasted. The calamari was tasteless and rubbery - it had clearly been overcooked and the mussels were miniscule and dried out.
The chorizo was average tasting but also dried out and tough, whilst the wilted salad seemed to have been left over from the night before. The bread was stale and the wine (not the cheapest bottle on offer) was awful and in fact we didn't finish it - now that's a first!!
It is a shame as we had heard good things about this restaurant and we have eaten in many tapas bars, but we could certainly not recommend Galicia to anyone. It was bad enough that the food was not up to scratch but the service was appalling. On our restaurant rating it gets a mere 2/10 and that's being generous. We shall be querying 'Time Out's' recommended signs in the window, as this is one of the reasons we decided to try this place, as usually their ratings are spot on.
A true Spanish restaurant! We absolutely love Galicia and their amazing staff who make you feel like you're in Spain. They have such delicious tapas here - order a load of these and you definitely can't go wrong!
I don't believe the bad press posted here. I have eaten at Galicia with my Spanish wife and inlaws many times and have never had a bad experience. The tapas is particularly good..!!
By Ian L.
Posted on 15/11/2010
Dreadful food,it doesn`t mater what your order,large plates or tapas, It seems the freezer and the deep fat fryer see a lot of action in this place.My Spanish neigbours advised us to avoid this place ,if only we had listened
An old school Spanish restaurant on Portobello Road.
Galicia has successfully transferred some of that northwestern Spanish charm to the north tail-end of the Portobello markets; it may have an unremarkable exterior, but beyond the tiny outdoor tables is a narrow but warm little restaurant reminiscent of family-run establishments in Spain. In the front the bar/foyer/dining area sets the scene for a lively night, and tucked below the balcony steps is a more private corridor-wide seating area.
Doting grandfatherly-figures play hosts here. They are so seasoned they are able to move at a pace that satisfies both the clients and their heavy footsteps. Yellow lights and yellow walls do not try to make up for the lack of sunlight - they set to reinforce the surreptitious air.
Galician food is hard to pinpoint because thrives on variety. It should come as no surprise then that the menu here is extensive in its selection - the tapas (about £3 - £6) and main (£7 to £15) menus are equally wide-ranging. Familiar tapas options like albondigas and paella fortunately still hold a place on the menu. A portion each of the large chewy salty meatballs and the Arroz Casero (paella) would be plenty for a snack. However, the cold-in-the-middle meatballs can taste very one-dimensional, and the aromatic saffron-coloured arroz sorely lacks the crispy crust paellas are known for.
As with most traditional Spanish restaurants, the wine list sticks to its country and classics. The selection, like Galician cuisine, is extremely varied - in price as well as in quality. Prices start from £9.95 for a bottle of house wine.
The Last Word
The menu is made more economical with a three-course set lunch for £8.50. Spanish nationals don't stray too far from Galicia.
The restaurant is tiny, the big bold waiter was rude and it was cramped with cigar smoking old men. Your best best is Georges fish bar which is next door.
Posted on 23/02/2007
Galicia is just simply bad. Eating here was one of life’s mistakes. The fish was off. The squid were more akin to tasteless rubber. The wine was quite poisonous tasting. The waiters were simply untrained and useless. Avoid Galicia like the plague!
Posted on 20/12/2006
Galicia must be a contender for the worst in London. I can only imagine that the good reviews I read amounted to nothing more than advertising, either that or the standard of restaurants has reached an all time low.
It might be true that certain people like badly-cooked food and waiters that turn the stomach with their repulsive behaviour. To say Galicia is bad is simply not enough. This restaurant should be closed down, it is the most disgusting and dirty place I have ever eaten at.
Posted on 13/12/2006
Galicia is possibly the worst restaurant I have ever visited. The food was unbelievably bad.
Posted on 04/10/2006
The food was at Galicia was disgusting. The waiter was rude and stupid. Galicia is one of the worst restaurants I have ever encountered.
Posted on 22/08/2006
I love this restuarant. The key at Galicia is to order a selection of tapas. The portions are very generous so don't over-order.
Galicia has been popular in my family for 20 years, my parents and uncles and aunts are all regulars. If you're looking for a posh dining experience this is not the restaurant for you.
However, if you want good, simple Spanish food cooked in authentic surroundings then book a table now.
Posted on 27/03/2006
Sorry to say but Galicia is one of the worst restaurants in London. They simply could not cook a steak; it tasted like it had been defrosted in the microwave and cooked slowly in an inch of oil. It shouldn't be on the menu if they cannot cook it! The service was dreadful too; slow and they messed up because they did not listen to the order!
Galicia is greasy and oily rubbish generally, in my opinion they should try another trade, as they are rude and definitely cannot cook. In a word, Galicia is disgusting.
Posted on 15/11/2005
I have been to Galicia numerous times, and love it there. It is always very busy and the atmosphere is great.
It's always full of familiar faces, as people keep going back.
There is a large selection of tapas, and the main menu is good too. The wine is also very reasonably priced.
I would definitely recommend Galicia if you like a busy, friendly atmosphere.
Posted on 30/07/2004
I have been to Galicia on two or three occasions, most recently this Tuesday (27th July) with a friend. Having been here before I know that it is always advisable to book a table before you go as it is always very busy.
we ate off the tapas menu and both I and my friend thought the fried squid and the whitebait were some of the best we have had in London. The garlic chicken was also very good. The service was friendly and the atmosphere is very friendly and lively.
This is one of the most authentic Spanish restaurants that you will find in london and the value for money is brilliant. £22 for tapas, 4 glasses of wine and two desserts.