October 30, 2015 Leith, Spanish, tapas No Comments

Exterior

Exterior

Blythe’s Verdict

In the dim and distant past of 2011, we went on our first Lunchquest, MJ, our friend Tracey and I. That first quest was to Tapa, in its now closed branch on Hanover Street. Already in that first review our now integral fascination with what we were wearing was there.

It was lovely to revisit this business in its Shore Place location. I was joined this time by Russell, who has been contributing reviews of places like A Tasca and In Siam over the course of the last few months.

Salad

Salad

I was a little surprised to see the place very quiet at lunchtime, as on previous trips it has been a veritable hive of activity. It gave us a usefully quiet environment to discuss important matters of state, though.

Their lunchtime deal offers two dishes plus either patatas bravas or salad for £8.95 each. This sounded pretty good to us, so ordering both salad and tatties we then augmented things with dishes of presa Iberica, morcilla, octopus and tortilla.

Tortilla

Tortilla

These arrived as they were ready, with the salad and patatas first up. These were profuse and classically produced, with the salad nicely fresh. Good accompanying bread and olive oil offered welcome substance.

The main dishes were all delivered to a really pleasing standard. The Iberico piggy was the standout with outstandingly good meat served in a lovely, fruity sauce.

The morcilla had a crumbly texture akin to haggis. It was topped with delicious quail’s eggs making for tasty mouthfuls. The octopus was fresh and well cooked, and the tortilla packed great flavour. It was a really well balanced a satisfying lunching experience.

Morcilla

Morcilla

So overall, it was great to see Tapa on such fine form. It’s right up there with La Sal as the finest tapas place in the city. I look forward to many future visits and would recommend you add it to your list of places to check out.

Russell’s Verdict

I’d tried to eat at Tapa once before, during my pre-satnav days, and I (inevitably) got horribly lost, abandoning the journey with an apologetic phone call to the restaurant. Years later, and Googlemaps installed on my phone, I found my way. In short: Tapa is not the easiest place to find, unless you know where it is or have the vaguest sense of direction.

Pulpo

Pulpo

The dining room was large but empty, so I had my pick of seats. I was torn between sitting at the large leg of Iberico ham, encased in glass, or near the window where my fellow diner might spot me. This time, practicality overruled. The ham, like a salty ex-lover, could wait.

With my companion table-side, we read and reread the lunch menu, which offered a starter of bread and oil, 2 tapas and a side dish each for around £9 per person. The friendly waitress took our order: a mix of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, with sides of patatas bravas (potatoes with a tomato sauce) and side salad.

Interior

Interior

Food arrived promptly. It looked elegant, and the variety was fun. Portions were also big enough for two people to share without having to fight over the last slice of octopus, so we felt there was real value for money.

We’d opted for a couple of the more expensive dishes, which came with a small surcharge, but were probably the highlights of the table. The presa, a kind of Iberian pork, was delicious, with just the right amount of seasoning for thin slices of meat – rich and tender, almost creamy but also meatily intense. The pulpo (octopus in an orange sauce) was refreshing. Regular lunch menu items included the morcilla (Spanish blood sausage with poached eggs), which was rich and moreish, whilst the tortilla (a Spanish omelette) was moist (they can dry out or become dense, I find) and flavoursome. The patatas bravas and side salad made for decent accompaniments and were well executed.

I was impressed by Tapa’s food, and would certainly return for their bargainous lunch menu. Whilst the place lacked a little atmosphere (large restaurants don’t suit emptiness very well), the staff were friendly and attentive, and the food made up for the isolation. As it happens, we had talking to do, so the quiet is ideal for chatterboxes.

Scores
Blythe scores Tapa
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15.5/20

Russell scores Tapa
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20

Today’s questers were: Russell, Blythe

We ate: morcilla presa iberica, pulpo, tortilla, salad, patatas bravas

We drank: water

We wore: camel coat; a “beard season” t-shirt with a cartoon face which looks alarmingly like my own

Total bill: £22.90

Tapa Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Written by BKR