As my MasterChef review the other week went down rather well, I thought it a good idea to continue with my love of food this week. In the name of research, then, I popped into La Tasca Leeds for a quiet early evening bite to eat.
In all honesty it’s been quite some time since I’ve been for tapas at all. Over the last few years Leeds has had a mad rush of places to eat and somewhere along the line I swapped Spanish cuisine for Japanese or Mexican. It’s good to get out of your habits and try something new, though—and I hope I don’t sound too cheesy, but I’m rather pleased that I did.
The staff were super friendly and found us a nice big table as we were mixing food with some work that needed doing. After a long day we needed some refreshment and the waiter recommended we shared some Sangria. I was with Adam Lowe (Vada‘s Publisher and all-round diva) so we had Cava Sangria, which added a bit of sparkle and really was wonderful. While I’m on the subject of the staff, I think it’s worth mentioning that they are all Spanish. This may sound a bit odd, but it gives a relaxing reassurance that they really do know about the food they are serving.
While we sipped our sangria and decided what to eat, our waiter was kind enough to bring over some olives and bread to enjoy. With a massive menu to choose from it was good to have something to nibble on. I must say that I have never been very keen on olives, but the few I had were delicious while Mr Lowe consumed the remainder—stick in one hand, Cava in the other.
After a short while deciding, we chose to share the La Tasca Gluten-Free Selection. I think this may have had something to do with an app that was tracking my colleague’s calorie intake, and because I was desperate to try the Slow-Cooked Pork Cheeks with Pedro Ximenez. This may sound like some people’s idea of a nightmare, but they tasted sweet (thanks to the sherry) and were cooked so well they simply flaked in the mouth, releasing all their succulent flavour.
Our remaining dishes included a fennel salad with wonderful citrus flavours, a serving of paella, manchego cheese with sun blushed tomatoes, Spanish omelette and some chorizo. I was thrilled that somehow they had managed to work several plates of tapas together to create a meal where every element complemented the rest. The meal was light and delicious without being flavourless, and you definitely weren’t left thinking you could eat more. It was the perfect meal for two.
We finished off our meal with a Carajillo: black coffee with milk foam and Spanish brandy. A perfect end to a wonderful and relaxing meal.
I think the question that I should end this on is: has this made me fall back in love with Tapas and Spanish cuisine in general? I think the simple answer here would be yes. Spanish food to me feels welcoming and warm, with delicious fresh flavours. I felt all of these at La Tasca. I wholeheartedly recommend that you all try it out.
La Tasca has 39 restaurants in the UK. Find your nearest here.
You can also read Miki’s MasterChef review.