FOR a taste of traditional Spanish cuisine set in colourful surroundings, hungry diners from the region should head along to La Tasca in Mill Lane Arcade, Touchwood.
The Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar, which is a well established eatery in the renowned shopping centre, offers a wide variety of dishes including starters, salads, paellas, seafood and a vast array of tapas with fish and meat, while also catering for children too.
The brightly coloured decor in oranges, lemons and blues is very inviting and having never ventured into a Tapas bar before or eaten Spanish food, my family and I asked the waitress for some help with what to order.
She was very obliging, as were all the staff, so after devouring starters of Pan de Ajo (garlic bread) which was deliciously crisp and fresh and Montado de Tomate y Ceballo, sauteed prawns and serrano ham, in a creamy white wine sauce on toasted bread, we later selected a number of tapas to share for our main meal.
These included Pollo al Ajillo, which was chicken breast cooked in a creamy white wine and garlic sauce at £3.95, along with Cordero en Salsa, a casserole of tender lamb, with wine, potato, mustard and peppercorns, priced at £4.25.
To accompany this, we also had Buey al Jerez, a rib-eye steak, sauteed and served with sauteed potatoes and a sherry sauce and portions of mushrooms and green beans in garlic and oilve oil.
These were all eaten with gusto and were quite rich but were enjoyed nevertheless.
My two children, who are aged eight and six years, chose the typical British options of fish fingers and fries and chicken breast strips with fries, but could have chosen Vegetable Paella, Macaroni Cheese, Spicy Meatballs or Chicken Croquettes.
The only drawback with their food was the small portion of chicken my daughter Olivia was served up and the large number of unwanted chips she got on her plate.
For drinks, the youngsters selected Five Alive fruit juices whilst I chose an Appletiser and my husband Graham selected mineral water from a large choice of wines, beers and soft refreshments.
For desserts we chose Tarte de Queso con Chocolate, (a white and dark chocolate cheesecake) which was delicious and Tarta de Naranja y Nuez, a ‘moist’ orange and walnut cake which was a little dry but came with organic vanilla ice cream followed by a lovely frothy Cappuccino taken from a selection of seven types of coffees.
The children had a choice of orange sorbet, vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit or mini churros (fruit and doughnuts) with chocolate sauce, but were full and so did not order anything.
Our total food bill came to £34.75, which is a reasonable price for a family of four.
The venue is an ideal place to go if you are on the way to the cinema or going to a nightclub and need a bite to eat before you go or if you are someone with a passion for Tapas or Spanish food and would score 7 out of 10 on my culinary scale of rating.
Excellent for customer service and atmosphere.