There is a new tapas bar on the block, and it’s called La Parada.
News of this place got me extremely excited as my friend D and I figured we could finally relive some of those amazing tapas moments from our recent visit to Spain…
Tasty tapas needed to get into my belly, and fast!
Technically it’s not a totally new spot, as they opened their first branch over in Kalk Bay earlier this year. But I was very happy to hear that I didn’t have to drive all that way to get my tapas fix, as their new Bree St branch is just a hop, skip & jump away from my place.
Decor wise, it totally blew me away. I mean this is just one hell of a beautiful space. I absolutely loved every little detail as it creates a really great general vibe with a strong Spanish feel. It’s the kind of place where you just want to pull up a seat and linger for a while… and then a while longer. (guess that’s where the name came in – it’s Spanish for “stop”)
Let me show you around:
The menu is relatively simple and overall I thought the prices were really quite good. Tapas prices range from R15 to R22 (R36 – R42 if you opt for full portions) and they’ve got a good selection of things like paella, octopus, calamari, spicy steak, croquettes, a Spanish omelette, chorizo options, bravas potatoes, etc.
There’s also a small selection of main dishes, ranging from R75 for the calamari & potatoes and up to R110 for the fillet foie gras. And dessert wise there are only 3 options: rice pudding (R12), something called “Fat from heaven” (R35) and Crema Catalana (R30).
The wine selection felt a bit limiting. But they also have some great craft beer options, various cocktails and a 2 litre jug of Sangria (will have to try that next time).
Our table decided to just focus on the tapas, and I think we did quite well, trying a really good selection of things:
Those 4 dishes bottom left above were all my dishes, but I also had a little taste of pretty much everything else.
Overall, I have to admit, I was really disappointed. The food was just very bland, some dishes were dry, others just flavourless. Definitely not what I was expecting from great Spanish style tapas… and I was really surprised to learn afterwards that both chefs are actually from Seville. I found that very strange because all the food I had in Seville was pretty damn amazing.
If I had to pick the best option out of the bunch, it would probably be the ham croquettes and the calamari was OK too. But even so, I wasn’t really thrilled by either.
Unfortunately this tapas bar has fallen into my “just a pretty face” category. BUT, I still really love the restaurant itself. I will rather be recommending it as a great drinking & catching up with friends spot. If you happen to be hungry, then yes, have a snack. But in my book it won’t be a big food destination.
For those reasons, I’m going to give La Parada a Miss K Kiss-o-Meter rating breakdown of:
If you’d like to give them a test drive yourself, here are some things to take note of:
- They are open: Mon – Sat 12pm to 10pm and Sun 12pm to 5pm
- You’ll find them at: 107 Bree St, CBD (across the road from &Union)
- And you can contact them on: 021 426 0330 or firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE as at 28 Oct 2013: Spoke to a friend of mine who went back a few days ago. She said that she felt that the food had really improved, so I’m going to be going back for a second opinion.
UPDATE as at 19 Nov 2013: Went there again last night for a friend’s birthday. Had the prawn croquettes, the calamari and the oxtail cannelloni. Went for the larger portions this time and shared it with a friend. The verdict: still very average food. It really lacked flavour and both of us agreed that there was nothing about any of the dishes that blew our hair back in any way. Sadly, my original opinion stands. Someone tweeted me and said they heard a little birdie say that they’re bringing in a new chef to fix the food problem. So let’s see… still really love the atmosphere of this place though, and for that I will keep going back.