I have been meaning for ages to visit La Tasca. I really like tapas and I really wanted to try their paella – more often then not I am very disappointed with the paella that is offered at other places.
So today I happened to be in Regent Street and popped into La Tasca for a (very) late lunch.
I decided to do the Tapas for a Tenner deal. This deal allows you to eat as many tapas as you want for just £10! The deal varies across the UK, but here it was available until 5pm, whilst in Bristol it is available from 5pm!
I went for six dishes in the end.
Patatas Bravas – Fried potato, topped with a spicy tomato sauce.
A Spanish classic and a tapas favourite. The tomato sauce was spicy, but rather too salty for me. Whilst the potatoes were soft and not crispy, slightly oily. A bit of a disappointment for a dish which should be relatively simple to make. It felt like it had not been freshly cooked and left around for a while. For me tapas should be freshly cooked.
Paella de Pescado – Paella with squid, prawns and mussels, served with lemon.
This was a well flavoured dish, but again like the patatas bravas did not taste fresh, felt like it had been cooked a good hour earlier.
Calamares a la Andaluza – Deep-fried rings of squid, served with roasted garlic mayonnaise and lemon.
Now this is a dish which again is simplicity, but oh was so wrong. The rings were overcooked so were rubbery in texture. I got the feeling (and I may have been wrong) that these were not freshly prepared, but came from a packet or even the freezer. Good calamari should be cooked using fresh squid. Alas they covered the calamari in salt – if I wanted salt I would have asked for it.
Chorizo Frito al Vino – The spicy Spanish sausage, sautéed in red wine.
This in my opinion was perfect, great chorizo cooked in red wine, bursting with meaty flavours and with a great depth provided by the red wine. This one I would have had second helpings of.
Selección de Embutidos – A selection of cured Spanish meats.
Can you get this wrong, no, and La Tasca didn’t. Three slices each of three different kinds of cured Spanish meats.
Paella Valenciana – A Valencian-style paella, with mixed seafood and chicken.
A different paella to the first tapas, but a similar story.
Overall I kind of had what I expected. La Tasca is a chain (not a family run restaurant) and probably cooks to a system. I did enjoy the meal (despite the disappointing food) and the ambiance and the atmosphere was pleasant, and you have to remember this was a very busy Regent Street.
Will I go again, possibly if I was stuck and there was nothing else to choose from.