Oh I love tapas, don’t you? I think tapas has evolved over the years from typical small plates of Spanish food to small plates of different cuisines, whether it’s Middle Eastern inspired or Italian small plates (cicchetti). But when’s the last time you went to La Tasca? Well until recently I hadn’t eaten here for years! I think the last time was at least 8/9 years ago for a friends hen do! I had a great evening because of the occasion and the company I was in, but it wasn’t because of the food, I always remember it being just ok, NOT great. I hadn’t any real reason to visit La Tasca since then as Leeds has some decent independent places serving their own versions of tapas, such as El Bareto (Chapel Allerton), Viva Cuba (Kirkstall), Zucco (Meanwood), Distrikt and Ambiente (city centre). So when I was invited to attend a launch event for La Tasca’s Bar de Sangria I was a little apprehensive about what to expect, even if it is a complimentary meal, everyone still wants a good experience!
So La Tasca has had a rebrand/refurbishment and wants to get diners in eating their tapas and drinking their Sangria!! With so much competition now they needed to do something different to make them stand out. They’ve opened the Bar de Sangria in the basement of the current restaurant in Leeds city centre. Of course at the heart of the drinks menu is Sangria, it couldn’t really be anything else could it!! They also have a range of other cocktails to tempt your tastebuds, but Sangria was definitely going to be our drink of choice that evening.
La Tasca have also spent time sourcing fresh quality ingredients directly from regional Spanish producers, working with food artisans and Spanish farmers to provide them with a unique range of meats, vegetables, oils, spices and wines. Their head chef Antony, has taken steps to ensure the quality of their produce by regularly visiting suppliers to maintain consistency in quality. With ingredients from Galicia in Northern Spain to Pamplona and Seville in the South they are wanting to the best ingredients they can.
One thing that La Tasca wants to promote more of is the humble paella, so guests were treated to one of their chefs cooking a paella in the space – a great showpiece. It certainly got my tastebuds going and my friends and I were a little impatient to grab a plate and dive in! The smell of chorizo and peppers emanating across the room was incredible and really livened up the senses. It certainly had the desired effect, as it seemed like the whole room jumped out of their seats when the food was ready! The word scavengers would have described us nicely I think. I’m a huge fan of paella and can remember a number of wonderful ones I’ve eaten in the past. One especially memorable one was a paella my best mate and I devoured when travelling in Havana, Cuba. For a long time we reminisced about that amazing lunch, in such a wonderful place. This was a pretty decent one, the rice was nicely cooked, lovely and al dente, a good ratio of chicken, peppers, chorizo and aubergine made it a lovely paella. It seemed to go down well with the other guests too, as within minutes the paella pan was empty.
As far as the Sangria goes, they need to be more consistent with the combinations of ingredients because one jug of Sangria tasted a lot different to another. When they got the mix right, it was good though, just a shame some lacked that necessary Sangria punch!!
The evening was an enjoyable one, with a good atmosphere and the paella in particular was very good!! I wouldn’t mind going back for another one if every one is as good as that!
We were invited to the event so our food and drinks were complimentary in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.4 Russell Street Leeds LS1 5PT 07785368726 http://www.latasca.com/bar-de-sangria-leeds/