The Tapas Bar on Vesturgata has long been one of my favourite destinations when I plan to go out, dine and meet friends. The location is a bonus, but the fact that it serves excellent food for a relatively healthy price is really the clincher for me. No less important is the lively atmosphere that makes it a good option for a relaxed evening with friends and loved ones, but for more formal occasions… well, lets just say I would probably not take my grandmother there for her ninetieth birthday – unless she was feeling particularly rowdy.
As the name might hint, The Tapas Bar specialises in the Spanish tapas tradition. Tapas are traditionally served as a small appetizer between full meals, but as Spanish cuisine has moved westwards through the continent, it has become common for restaurants to offer several small dishes together to make a full meal. The great advantage this offers is variety. You know the feeling you get when you look at a menu and you just want to taste everything on it? Well, here that is actually encouraged.
I ordered ‘the journey into the unknown,’ seven tapas and a dessert selected by the kitchen staff. The highlight may well have been the bacon wrapped scallops and figs, but it faced some stiff competition from both the crab salad and the kangaroo a la Crocodile Dundee. And the chocolate cake; well, it just took the cake, so to speak. My companion selected ‘the bullfighter’s tapas,’ the fillet of beef, lamb, chicken and pork, with some grilled lobster tails in garlic and oil. Both dishes clocked in at around 4000 ISK; by no means a fire sale, but considering that I was barely able to stand after consuming all the food it entailed, it might be a small bargain. But there is no real need to go in there to order a seven dish combo-meal. You can just as easily step in to grab a little snack for less than 1000 ISK. Perfect for those long nights out, especially considering that the kitchen is open until 01:00 on weekend-nights.
- WHAT: Tapas Barinn
- WHERE: Vesturgötu 3b 101 Reykjavík
- PHONE: +354 551 2344
- WEB: www.tapas.is