The first time I tried tapas was with my friend, Checha. She’s from Spain and I love her a lot because she’s really nice and says “Hola” all the time. Checha didn’t come with us this time when mama took me to dinner in the city at a restaurant called Encasa in Sydney. She would have liked it.
When we arrived I was starving and the restaurant smelled so good that I started to drool. It was quite dark inside and there were big black lights that were hanging from the roof that looked like they should be in a haunted castle. I really wish we could have borrowed them for Halloween.
A nice man called Fernando helped us choose what to eat. He brought us some plain toast that we rubbed with pieces of garlic, tomato and oil and sprinkled with salt. It was so, so good.
Then he brought us a big board covered in Jamon, which is one of my favourite things of all time. Fernando said it came from special black pigs in Spain and that it had been aged for 17 months. I think he must have been wrong because if I was the one making it, I could NEVER wait that long to eat it. It was the best Jamon in the history of ever.
The chorizo was epic. Mama only got two bits and I pigged all the rest… which is silly really because chorizo is made from pork and that means I pigged the pig.
Croquettes (with manchego cheese) were crunchy on the outside and oozy soft on the inside and mama ate most of them, I guess that’s fair since I scoffed all the chorizo. Some super yummy zucchini flowers (stuffed with cuatra quesos) came next and they were all crispy and delicious and had loads of oozy cheese inside too. I liked mine with a bit of lemon.
The garlic prawns smelled amazing! I think they were one of my favourite dishes. Mama really liked the lamb (backstrap dressed with pistachio and manchego and served on olive oil mash) and we both loved the juicy lamb on sticks with Moroccan spices (pinchos muruna).
When the meatballs in almond sauce arrived my mum she said she was full and that she didn’t want any so I got to have them all and they were so, so yummy. I think the best thing about tapas is that even when everyone else is full, which is always before me, the little plates of food are small enough that I can keep ordering and eating… though mama did say no when I asked for paella as well. I guess we’ll have to come back for that another time.
I have to admit I was feeling pretty full by the time I ate all the meatballs but I have a second stomach for dessert so I still managed to squeeze in a plate of churros and chocolate… and ask for an ice cream on the way home.
Reviewed by Raffles – aged 6
*bracketed detail by his mama
423 Pitt Street, Haymarket NSW 2000
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