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EC3 may be all suits and briefcases, but this branch of Barcelona Tapas is a far cry from minimalist, corporate style. Summoning up the spirit of Las Ramblas, the space is decked out with gaudy mosaics and colourful tiles, while a flamenco soundtrack strums away in the background. The long tapas menu covers all bases, moving from charcuterie and cheeses via ‘los classicos’ small plates and the odd modern riff to more substantial items for sharing. Albondigas (meatballs), patatas bravas and crispy deep-fried baby squid with salsa romesco keep it familiar, while generous helpings of morcilla de Burgos with roasted peppers, skewers of spice-infused lamb or pans of paella are perfect for large groups. A fistful of desserts includes the usual crema catalana and Santiago tart, while the vast drinks list encompasses sangria, Spanish-style G&Ts and regional wines. Takeaways and local deliveries too.
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10 July 2013
I chose Barcelona Tapas after reading all the good reviews on Square Meal and other sites. However the place turned out to be very disappointing.
We had one of the set menus with a mix of different types of tapas. While the classic ones (tortilla, albondigas, chorizo) were pretty tasty, the seafood ones were very tasteless and horrible. Mussels were dry and far from being fresh Likewise, the paella was dry and glued to the paella-pan. It tasted and looked like one of those yellow paellas that you find in those very touristy areas of Madrid or Barcelona.
Also, the service (more than 10%) came included in the bill although it was just two of us and although the waitresses kept forgetting to bring water or take orders.
Maybe we had the bad luck of having dinner there on the wrong night but I doubt I will give them another try.
04 May 2013
This is a very good restaurant. Tapas are not authentic – they have been adapted to appeal – but are uniformly very tasty. Tortilla Espanola was particularly impressive, with its runny interior. Seafood is fine and light, paella tasty and hamon serrano freshly cut and flavoursome. Wine list was the highlight of the vsist, so much so that the choice was difficult: I will have to come back, to sample some bottles I earmarked. Finally, service was prompt, friendly, unobtrusive and highly professional. All in all, excellent!
27 September 2010
Very good food, for very reasonable money, the Chorizio melted in your mouth, the squid had a light batter and was not chewy, the sauce that the lamb livers came in was divine. Staff very friendly.
Decor, not my cup of tea, all white tiled and the tables were spread out, but that is just a personal opinion.
i would return.
Staff very friendly, manager talked a lot, he told us an amusing story, but it was when our food arrived and the story went on 3 or 4 minutes, his timing was not great.
18 May 2009
Tapas is easy to get wrong and there's nothing wrong with the quality of the food at Barcelona in Middlesex St. I was pleasantly surprised in fact. Service was patchy – the place was virtually empty but the one (quite charming) Spanish waiter struggled to keep up. The atmosphere was a bit soulless but it's probably a bit more lively in the evening.
If anything the menu was a bit too long. I think they could do with providing a few sample menus (like Chinese restaurants) which would help move things along.
Anyway, the food arrived quickly once ordered and was very tasty. Particularly good were the deep fried prawns, the meatballs and patatas bravas. The cured hams were lovely and the cheese selection was excellent and very tasty. As usual with Tapas we ended up ordering a bit too much (could have done without the Paella, which was a bit tasteless) but it wasn't bad value for the quality and quantity of the food. The Rioja was good too.
30 January 2009
With a life long love of Spanish food and Tapas I was excited to read some very favourable reviews regarding the Barcelona chain, and visited recently to celebrate my 2nd Anniversary with my girlfriend.
We were very pleased on arrival, a nice atmosphere and genuine Spaniards throughout the restaurant. The menu is large but what one would expect from a Tapas bar by its very nature. The wine list is more than adequate and with a brief description of what we were after the waiter advised a very nice bottle of red wine exactly as we had in mind.
We ordered our food from the Tapas menu, a few from each section: Meats, Fish, Vegetables etc and were surprised if not a little disturbed that the first plates started arriving within 2 minutes – something which has to place a question mark over the freshness or authenticity of the food. It was however very nice. Having had Tapas in many Spanish cities there is no question that the majority of the food was out of a bag freshly imported from Spain, and heated under the grill. This however I am pleased to say did not take away too much from the quality of the food, with zingy flavours and relatively tender cooking. The Octopus was a little hard and the prawns a little overcooked, if not previoulsy frozen, however the sauces did a fabulous job of making it almost possible to ignore this fact. The croquettas were as ever magical.
Unfortunately this is where the experience rapidly deteriorated. They forgot to bring a few of the dishes we ordered yet still added them to the bill, and we were sitting there for at least half an hour without any attention after the last dish was served, the last they would end up bringing anyway. This in a restaurant where there were enough staff to serve one per table seeing as it was only one quarter full, and where the Manager was talking to one table for at least 20 minutes whilst ignoring all other customers around him. After a painful wait I eventually managed to ask for the bill and when it arrived they had charged us double for 2 items, including things that had never arrived. I then waited another 20 minutes for someone to come and collect the cash at which point I took the bill to the bar. On a positive note the Manager did apologise and changed the bill so that it was correct. It was however disappointing overall as what could easily have been a very nice dining experience was spoiled by some of the parts of the business that are relatively easy to get right. A real shame – half way through I was going to come back the following week. I will however not be returning as there are without question much better Tapas restaurants around. La Tasca is a fairly basic chain Tapas bar, but the food is as good and the service is infinitely better, so there must be other much better autentic Tapas bars out there. My search for a taste of Spain continues.
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