09 March 2011
We Love Tapas
Tapas are something I have never really indulged in before. I always thought they wouldn't be very exciting for vegetarians, leaning more towards meat and fish. Well how wrong was I?
* Marinated Spanish Olives
* Rustic Breads with Aioli and Tomato Chutney
* Spanish Cheese Board
* Sliced Vine Ripened Tomatoes with Shallots, and Warm Goats Cheese
* Sun Dried Tomato, Feta and Olive Salad Bowl
* Goats Cheese and Caramelised Onion Pizza
* Roast Peppers, Grilled Aubergine and Sun Blushed Tomato Pizza
* Tomato and Four Cheese Pizza
* Patatas Bravas: Crisp Potatoes, Spiced Tomato Sauce and Aioli
* Gratin Potatoes flavoured with Parmesan and Garlic
* Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables with Garlic, Thyme & Aged Balsamic
* Cauliflower Gratin with Manchego and an Almond Crumb
* Thin Beetroot and Feta Cheese Tart with Roquette and Spiced Beetroot Chutney
* Garlic and Truffle Mashed Potatoes
Are you salivating yet?
We were, once we read the menu!
Graham, Cooper and I took a trip to Glasgow to visit the new Tapas restaurant - Tapela. It was a lovely day for a drive and we were really looking forward to our day out, after all the rain we have suffered lately.
We parked in a city centre car park, feeling slightly dizzy at the thought of how much it was going to cost us for the privilege of parking there and set of in our hunt for the restaurant. After declaring ourselves no nearer to finding it, we popped into a shop to ask for directions. There was some debate over which way to go and the final piece of advice was to take a number 77 bus. "oh, it's quite far then?" we asked. "Yes, it will take you about 15 minutes to get there". What's wrong with people in Glasgow, have they no feet or are they just extraordinarily lazy? Anyway, we set off and found it wasn't too far to the restaurant. Cooper enjoyed spotting all the buses on the way.
We were very impressed when we arrived at the restaurant. Some lovely latin music was piped into the stairway to welcome us in and get us in the mood for our tapas.
The restaurant was very stylish. Muted colours, pale wooden floors and lots of black and chrome. There were flashes of colour with red splashed panels that Jackson Pollack would have been impressed with and some lovely orange lamps. I particularly liked the carved wooden bulls and Cooper loved the water feature in the stairway.
The staff were very welcoming and quickly brought us some drinks and a wooden plate piled with rustic bread and dips. Just the thing to get Cooper onside. He loves all things baked.
It took us a while to decide on what to have as it all sounded so lovely and there was so much to choose from. As well as the tapas, they had a main menu too with temptations such as Vegetable Paella with Chickpeas and Aioli and a Thin Mushroom and Picos Blue Tart with Chargrilled Courgettes. Mmmmmmmmmm! They also had a lunch menu with 2 courses for £9.99 and 3 courses for £13.95, but we decided to share a selection tapas before plunging into the dessert menu.
We selected the Patatas Bravas, the Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables with Garlic, Thyme & Aged Balsamic, a Goats Cheese and Caramelised Onion Pizza and the Thin Beetroot and Feta Cheese Tart with Roquette and Spiced Beetroot Chutney.
The Patatas Bravas were liked spiced little morsels of roast potato. I could have happily eaten the whole bowl of potatoes myself.
The Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables were full of flavour and still had a bit of bite to them, which I like.
The Beetroot and Feta Cheese Tart which I was really looking forward to was subtle after the punch of flavours in the other dishes. It was beautifully presented, but a bit bland. I think I would have enjoyed it better on it's own with a salad, rather than fighting for place with the other tapas dishes.
And now onto the pizza. Well, we nearly came to blows over the pizza! A lovely freshly baked thin base with sweet and rich caramelised onions and a lovely goats cheese that wasn't overpowering as it sometimes can be. We all declared it the best pizza we had ever had. Well Cooper contributed his opinion by smiling lots and asking for more.
We shared two desserts. A Vanilla Cheesecake with Berry Compote and Raspberry Sorbet and a Smooth Lemon Posset with Pistachio Shortbreads.
Oh my god, they were good! The cheesecake was deep and oh so creamy, but not too sweet. The sorbet was slightly tart as was the berry compote. Just gorgeous!
The lemon posset was really thick and rich, but the lemon flavour was not overpowering. You could taste the lemon to begin with, but then the flavour is handed over to the vanilla seeds that are nestled through it. The pistachio shortbread was melting and as light as air. I am pleased as punch to say I came away with the recipe courtesy of their head chef - Gordon Stewart.
Although the restaurant isn't geared up for small children, the stairs which are too steep to contemplate taking a pram or buggy down and the lack of highchairs. The staff made us very welcome and didn't mind having a wee toddler toodling about. They even tried to get us a highchair from the bar next door. The prices are reasonable too. The vegetarian tapas are between 3 and 5 pounds and the desserts around about 5 pounds each. We will definitely make a return visit the next time we are in Glasgow.
104 Bath Street
0141 332 6678
Food served all day
Sunday to Thursday: 12am to 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 12am to 10:30pm