EVER since a Spanish friend cooked me a meal from her home country, I’ve wanted to see what other culinary delights the country has to offer.
Cue a visit to La Tasca the Spanish tapas restaurant on Union Street.
I visited on the first official day of summer last Sunday which miraculously turned out to be a scorcher.
The restaurant wasn’t very busy, but I didn’t expect anything different from a 3pm visit on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There was still enough atmosphere thanks to the Spanish music playing in the background, the colourful settings and friendly staff.
Seated by the window, with the French door flung open and the sun streaming in, I could’ve closed my eyes and been in Spain.
Tantalising smells drifted up from the kitchen while Spanish music played in the background and a jug of authentic sangria topped off the experience.
Packed with fruit, the sangria was a sweet, refreshing taste of Spain and the perfect accompaniment while we perused the menu.
The drinks menu alone incorporated some really fine cocktails, Spanish beers and wines, while even the pickiest eater would have found something they liked on the extensive food menu.
Between us, my friend Richard and I ordered paella verduras paella with vegetables; gambas gabardina battered king prawns; chorizo and morcilla chorizo with Spanish black pudding, peppers and onion and patatas bravas traditional fried potatoes.
The food arrived all at once, served in rustic clay dishes while the paella was in a piping hot skillet.
Not knowing where to begin, I loaded my plate with a bit of everything.
The classic chorizo and black pudding dish was a highlight. The subtle flavour and soft consistency of the black pudding perfectly complemented the slightly spicy, chewy chorizo, which had coated the peppers in its flavoursome oil.
The paella was generously loaded with peppers, mushrooms, onions and courgette, and had a mellow flavour.
The huge, butterflied king prawns were succulent and juicy, coated in a thin, crispy layer of beer batter and served with a spicy mayo the perfect combination.
Actually, all the dishes were done well. The patatas bravas were perfectly seasoned, golden and soft in the middle, with a lovely mild sauce not the spicy one advertised on the menu.
While the food was good, I was glad we weren’t in a hurry as the service was quite slow from bringing the food to the table to checking up on us, and finally bringing the bill.
But talking purely about the food and comparing it to the wonderful meal my friend had made me, it lived up to the standards quite well.
While the dessert menu sounded to die for churros, gelato and bramley apple and walnut tarta to name a few we were stuffed from the savoury food.
Instead we decided on a liquid dessert an ice cold glass of long island iced tea the perfect end to a great meal.
If you’re looking for tasty food, friendly service and a relaxed setting, La Tasca is the ideal place for an informal meal with friends.