Last Friday, we headed to La Tasca, a Spanish tapas bar and restaurant in town. If you’re looking for generous servings of paella as well as decent side dishes, this will definitely be the place to go (:
The interior is well thought out and soaked in spanish design. There seems to be an affinity between spain and orange, of which was the main colour of the entire restaurant. It sets you in a lovely place and maybe for a fleeting moment have you envision what spain might be like. They had a second level as well, ideal for hosting parties and events.
PAELLA DE MARISCOS
A seafood paella with king prawns, squid, white fish and white wine, topped with wild Patagonian tiger prawns. Galacian mussels, lemon wedges, char-grilled aubergine and peppers.
Yuen: We ordered paella with portions for three, shared among four people and we. were. so. stuffed. In addition to the generous helpings the seafood was really fresh, which always makes the biggest difference in determining how seafood dishes turn out, in my opinion. I love the fact that they added lemon slices; when juice is drizzled over the rice the result is both savoury and zesty. It was a really satisfying, hearty dish, worth the wait (it usually takes about 20-30 minutes to prepare, so get some tapas to share before that!)
Nat: In case you are wondering what paella taste like, you can just see it as a spanish version of the risotto, one that is less starchy and creamy. The mediterrean paella we had was beautifully done. The essence of the seafood and vegetable was nicely infused into the rice – a harmonious blend of flavours. There were also traces of spices(picked up some form of paprika, and saffron) that enhanced the overall taste of the dish. I also loved how colourful the paella was, this sizzling pan of goodness was such a refreshing and satisfying feast for the eyes and our ever-hungry tummies. I had read off somewhere that if you threw the paella at the wall and it sticks there for a week, it is a good paella. Pity we did not try that out, maybe the next time round?
Tapas are the spanish equivalent of an appetizer, finger-food to be shared amongst friends. I would gladly have a variety of these appetizers as my main meal because each little plate has an interesting and unique touch to them.
PATATAS BRAVAS (ESPAñA)
Fried Potato, with spicy tomato sauce. (You can add cheese to this dish.) £2.95
Yuen: With fried potatoes texture always ranks at the top for me, and I really liked how this dish came out (: The skin is crispy enough and the potatoes weren’t under-cooked or over-cooked, biting into it feels like you’ve hit just the perfect balance!
Nat: So obviously we had to go for the additional cheese (: Perhaps a defining example of simplicity at it’s best. Gooey streaks of cheese and chilli tomato sauce encapsulating mini bits of sauteed potatoes, this carbo laden, cheese laden chilli laden tapas was oozing with so much win.
PESCADO BLANCO FRITO (MALAGA)
Deep-fried white fish, in our special-recipe San Miguel batter, served with homemade paprika & roasted garlic mayonnaise and lemon. £4.75
Yuen: Fresh seafood, great batter. Yumz.
Nat: What I liked about it was how honest this dish was. It was not one of those fish that’s coated with unnecessarily thick batter only to reveal a non-existence layer of fish beaneath it. This deep fried white fish was protected with a light layer of batter, with a blissful crunch that gives way to a fresh and juicy fish . Best of all it was not greasy.
CATALAN-STYLE BEEF STEW (CATALUNYA)
Tender beef in a rich sauce with mushrooms, peppers, wine and chocolate £4.95
Yuen: You could taste more of the wine in the beef than chocolate, so the cocoa-addict in me was left feeling slightly disappointed. Still it was a really hearty stew and the wine managed to infuse the meat really well.
Nat: The name of the dish suggest an unlikely combination of chocolate and beef. Yet the interplay of savoury and sweet proofs to work in this case. Upon first bite you would probably expect to taste some form of chocolate, however the beef is the most dominant flavour, with a subtle hint of cocoa that catches you by surprise when you eventually discover it.
CHICKEN SKEWERS (CASTILLA)
Hand-skewered chicken breast, marinated in smoky paprika, chilli, garlic and oregano. £4.45
Yuen: I’m a fan of chicken (even chicken breast!) and I thought the skewers did justice to the dish (: Succulent, tender meet, oozing with flavour when you bite into it…
Nat: Ordered the chicken skewers because I was craving for chicken. No one expected much of it, but we all agreed that it was really good. The chicken cubes were incredibly tender and well marinated, additionally the roasted peppers between them provided a refreshing zest after each meaty mouthful.
La Tasca is great place for a relaxed dinner with friends or loved ones, and they have various branches across the United Kingdom.
21 Back Swinegate
York, YO1 8AD
Tel: 01904 521100
Monday – Sunday : 11:00 – 23:00