Review: Tapas Restaurant & Lounge Bar

  • Words, Carly Sorensen, Photos, Natasha Marshall

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of dining in Tapas, my favourite restaurant on this beautiful island.

Hidden from the noise of San An but still easy to find, Tapas is a gorgeous haven to escape to, whatever the occasion. It’s rustic, yet elegant, charming yet classy and never fails to impress.

The Terrace …

The friendly waiting staff are helpful, knowledgeable about the food and multi lingual. I have heard them speak to guests in English, Spanish, Italian and German. Owners Becky and Tony do a tremendous job and don’t dictate from the sidelines. They’re in the thick of it, working hard alongside their staff to take orders, seat guests, serve food, pour drinks and ensure their diners are happy. They always appear relaxed, happy, calm and communicative, genuinely engaging with staff and guests.

The camaraderie, communication and  love of their business demonstrated by Tony and Becky, gives Tapas a genuine, warm, welcoming and familial atmosphere  that’s hard to recreate and keeps people coming back for more. That and the incredible food. As the name suggests, it’s Tapas, but it’s like no Tapas you’ve tasted before.

The Menu …

The menu at Tapas is hard to pin down – kind of a Mediterranean British fusion with Asian and African aspects in the mix. Varied and adventurous, it caters to vegans,  carnivores and everybody in between, there really is something for absolutely everyone.

The beauty of it being tapas sized too is that you don’t have to choose just one dish. Two or three per person fills you up nicely and allows you to sample a few palate pleasers. Becky brought us a personally recommended  selection of drinks, dishes and desserts to sample. I am glad she did choose for us, some I would not necessarily have chosen myself, but I loved every single one.

The Review …

Lynchburg Lemonade

Recommended as ‘perfect for the Summer’ by Becky and ‘Old school, but so, so good’ by Tony, this cocktail was really good. Jack Daniel’s, cointreau, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and lemonade with fresh sliced oranges and lemons and plenty of ice. The Lynchburg Lemonade was light, refreshing and very easy to drink. I would happily have sipped away on them all night were I not driving. Nicest cocktail I have had in a long time.

Meat and Cheese Sharing Platter.

To start, Becky brought us a wooden board platter with a lovely rustic presentation. It was loaded up with blue, brie and cheddar cheeses, jamon serrano, chorizo, lomo and jamon iberico. In the centre was an artfully piled stack of fresh warm buttery toasted bread. In the corners were square bowls of fresh green olives and an absolutely scrumptious caramelised onion chutney and the whole lot was garnished with rocket leaves and cherry tomatoes. The  textures and flavours contrasted and complimented each other so well, but it was the chutney that made this platter a real winner. Sticky, sharp, sweet and slightly crunchy it gave a real richness and depth to the meats and cheeses. Myself, husband and daughter wasted no time devouring the lot.

Quinoa Salad

This yummy little vegan number was something my husband would never have chosen himself but he really enjoyed it, as did I. It has really great flavours and textures, with sweet juicy grated apple,  earthy beetroot soaked into the grainy soft quinoa, crisp courgette spirals, green leaves,  crunchy pumpkin seeds and even a few tart cranberries in it. Really refreshing. I’d definitely eat it again!

Seafood Medley

Right up my street. If you asked me to describe my ideal dish, this is pretty much it. Prawns, mussels, clams and salmon chunks all cooked to moist magnificence, bathed in a creamy and brandy sauce. Light, delicate and delicious. I could have eaten a huge bowl of this to myself – I had to restrain myself to give my companions a look in!

Chicken Ras Al Hanout

This tasty Moroccan inspired number really hit the spot. Generous chunks of chicken breast were served in a sweet and sour tomato and mango sauce, with just a hint of heat and spice. The chicken was cooked to perfection and the sauce had just the right balance of sweet, sour, spicy and sticky.

Mini Thai Fishcakes

These were on the daily specials board, and I am so glad we picked that particular day as they were incredible. Each bite was packed with the flavours of coriander, lime, chilli, fish and more and I was transported back to Thailand as I ate. They were served with a crisp side salad and a really flavoursome sweet chilli dipping sauce. Thumbs up all round.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake.

Now, I would never in a million years have ordered something with white chocolate in. I hate white chocolate. However, this looked incredible and my husband and daughter’s insistence that ‘you have to try this, it’s amazing!’ tempted me in. First the looks, because this really was food for the eyes too. A round crunchy biscuit base was topped by a soft pink cream cheese and white chocolate filling with a thick raspberry coulis drizzled on top. It was served with fresh raspberries, a delicate white chocolate shard, dashing of cream and sprig of fresh mint. Almost too good looking to eat. But eat it we did and it was every bit as good as it looked. The base was buttery and crunchy, the filling light, creamy and with just a hint of white chocolate and raspberry and the coulis divine. I will certainly be ordering it again!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This dish was a strange sounding one but it tasted great. The idea of avocados in a dessert may sound bizarre to a lot of you, but I promise you will like it! Avocado and raw cacao are whizzed together to make an unctuous, smooth and chocolatey mousse which is then set in the fridge. It was served with cacao nibs, crushed nuts and tiny berries on top and was so tasty my daughter refused to believe it was avocado because ‘I don’t like them, but this is yummy!’ From the mouths of babes.

And So To Sum Up …

With food this good in a setting so lovely, you might expect Tapas to be expensive, but it is exceptional value with dishes coming in at 4.95 – 12.95 each.

It really does tick every box. Great setting, fantastic staff and hosts, out of this world food and it won’t bust your budget. They even do a very good tasting menu at set prices per head for larger groups.

It’s my go-to destination every time I have guests here or want to go out for dinner. In five years I have honestly never had a bad dish there. Faultless.

for more information or to make a reservation visit the tapas website