La Casa

La Casa

12th February 2019 5.30pm

la-casa-restaurant.co.uk

Food – 8/10
We ate:
• Bruschetta
• Pulpo
• Gambas pil pil
• Croquettas de Serrano
• Calamari (x2)
• Halloumi (x2)
• Loukanika (x2)
• Churros
• Cake
• 1 large glass of wine

The menu here had lots of choice and it took us a fair bit of deliberation before deciding what to have. La Casa offers a mix Mediterranean dishes, with Spanish and Greek being most prevalent. As usual with tapas, the plates came out when ready, although we were a little surprised that the bruschetta was the last thing to arrive.

Pulpo - La Casa

Pulpo – La Casa

The best dish for me was the pulpo, which was an octopus and potato dish. This was just amazing and the plate of food I keep thinking about a few weeks later. The tentacles could put some people off, visually, but I thought they looked beautiful. The texture was great and worked really well with the potatoes, which were soft and golden.

Halloumi - La Casa

Halloumi – La Casa

My two dining companions both had the halloumi and raved about how good it was. Three large slices of the cheese had been griddled and served with a salad. This was a very generous portion and gave them both a satisfying cheese hit.

Calamari - La Casa

Calamari – La Casa

Gambas pil pil - La Casa

Gambas pil pil – La Casa

The rest of the seafood – the calamari and the gambas pil pil – were both really good. The quality was high and were cooked well. The calamari came with a small side salad and a lovely dish of aioli, which was delicious.

Croquettas de Serrano - La Casa

Croquettas de Serrano – La Casa

Loukanika - La Casa

Loukanika – La Casa

The croquettas also got the thumbs up. These were also served with aioli. The loukanika was interesting. The Greek pork sausage lacked a little texture but still had good flavour. The accompanying leeks and peppers made the stew feel quite homely.

Bruschetta - La Casa

Bruschetta – La Casa

The bruschetta, as mentioned earlier, arrived last. The bread was brown which was a surprise. It was a little underwhelming and could have done with some onion and more basil in it. Perfectly edible though.

Churros - La Casa

Churros – La Casa

Cake - La Casa

Cake – La Casa

I was way too stuffed for dessert (partly because I’d had one more dish than the other two). My friends decided to order churros and the cake special. The churros looked a touch anemic and felt a little greasy. The chocolate dip was good though. The cake was quite sodden with honey, but it still all disappeared in a flurry.

Service – 8/10
The service was friendly and helpful. We were not rushed out, even though the restaurant was getting full.

Atmosphere- 8/10
We had a relatively early booking but this place got bustling fairly quickly. There was a friendly vibe here which made it great for relaxed dining. Some of the tables were packed a little closely together but it wasn’t too bad.

Value – 8/10
Some plates are better value than others but overall it was pretty reasonable for all the food we ate.

Cost £83.

Overall – 32/40

Would I eat here again? Definitely. I want that octopus again and there are other things I’d like to try.

Cafe Andaluz

Café Andaluz

7th August 2016 12noon

www.cafeandaluz.com

This was an unplanned visit but Café Andaluz is a regular, reliable haunt for many an Edinburger. We opted for the Sunday deal of three tapas plus a dessert for £15.95. You get a slightly smaller menu to choose from but still plenty to  whet your appetite. I went for the Ensalada Andaluza (a firm favourite of mine), calamari and lightly dusted cod fillet pieces. My dining partner went for patatas bravas, chorizo and black pudding and paella valenciana.

Whilst the dishes can come out as and when, ours all came together. My calamari was really generous in size and not rubbery in the slightest. The chorizo mayonnaise was lovely and worked really well alongside the calamari. I enjoyed every mouthful. The salad was absolutely delicious. A nice mix of asparagus tips, artichokes and sun blushed tomatoes with a divine sweet hinamin dressing. The cod was also lovely and moist. I did squeeze too much of the accompanying lemon over the pieces which meant the coating went a bit soggy but it didn’t spoil the flavour. A touch of paprika in the coating gave it more depth.

On the other side of the table, the chorizo and black pudding was the hit of her three dishes. So much so she said she could eat a massive bowl of it just with some bread. It certainly looked like a very satisfying dish. The pastas bravas also went down well, with plenty of potato. As for the paella, it disappeared very quickly. I particularly had food envy over that dish.

Crema Catalana - Cafe Andaluz

Crema Catalana – Cafe Andaluz

We both opted for Crema Catalana for dessert and boy was it worth it. A generous portioned dessert but beautifully crafted. The sugar top crunched perfectly and the underneath was smooth and creamy. I devoured the whole lot, although my friend struggled to finish hers but I had lighter tapas dishes.

Café Andaluz was a strong, reliable restaurant where you will find something to please.

Food – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8.5/10

Overall 33.5/40

Would I eat here again? Of course.

Cost £36 for three tapas each, two desserts and two soft drinks

 

Mother India

13th March 2016 1pm

http://motherindia.co.uk/index.php/dine-with-mother-india/mother-india-s-cafe/mother-india-s-cafe-edinburgh

Mother India started out in Glasgow but has a successful offering here in Edinburgh. This restaurant serves Indian tapas. I have been here plenty of times and sometimes I have experienced mildly chaotic service but didn’t experience that today. After a poppadom each with mango chutney, we all ordered two dishes each plus breads. The menu recommends 3-4 dishes between 2 people and this really is enough. We ordered a mix of dishes including butter chicken, chilli king prawns, chilli chicken, lamb karahi and aubergine fritters (the latter two I had). The majority of us went for garlic pittas and one went for peshwari.

As tapas, dishes come out when they are ready but they all came out pretty much as the same time which suited us fine. My lamb karahi was delicious and had good flavour. The lamb wasn’t tough either. The aubergine fritters were tasty, with some kind of accompanying sauce which was delicious. The garlic pitta was generously plied with garlic, so I was in my element. One of my friends commented that a pitta (flattened out in the shape of a naan) was a less stodgy and heavy alternative to a naan, which was perfect for a lunch. Everyone seemed to enjoy their dishes and it was agreed that they couldn’t have eaten any more.

This was a pleasant meal. It is nice enough here but is possibly missing a wow factor. A solid offering though.

Food – 7.5/10
Service- 7.5/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 7.5/10

Overall 29/40

Would I eat here again? Probably but I’m in no hurry

Cost £65 for 8 tapas dishes, 4 pittas, 4 poppadoms and mango chutney, two halves of Kingfisher and a Diet Coke.

Mother India's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tapame

NOW CLOSED

4th June 2015 – 12.15pm

http://tapame.co.uk/

I popped in here for lunch with a colleague (so apologies for photos of half eaten food, work talk got in the way). Tapame is relatively new addition to Teviot Place and as the name suggests, serves tapas. We had the option of two menus; the full menu or the lunch deal special, which was two plates for £5, which was incredibly reasonable. We went for this option and decided to get four dishes to share between us. You are limited to picking one from a group of about 5 or 6 dishes and another from another group of 5 or 6. My colleague had ventured in before so I took her advice on dishes. We went for butter beans and patatas bravas from the first group and meatballs and spinach filo pie from the second group.

Tapame

Tapame

As with tapas, the dishes come out when they are ready but these all came out in close proximity to each other. We started with the patatas bravas and the meatballs. The patatas bravas is light on the sauce here, so if that’s not how you like them, you may be a bit disappointed. However, I thought they had good flavour, both in the potatoes and the sauce. They were cut into nice bit sized chunks which made them easy to share. The meatballs were in a set of three, which makes it a little less easy to share between two but were large enough that it was not a problem to cut a meatball in two and still have a decent bit of meat each. The rice that accompanied the meatballs was cooked well enough. The nicest part was the tomato sauce, which had a good, punchy tomato flavour. Moving onto the filo pie, the flavour was great. It doesn’t look overly appetising to the eye but don’t let that put you off. I have to say that this was probably the best dish of the four. There was a good balance between filling and pastry. The butter beans were soft and in a nice tomato sauce which included small pieces of other vegetables such as celery to give it added depth. This sauce was thinner and lighter than the one with the meatballs.

Overall, if you are looking for a quick bite to eat, Tapame will hit the spot. I imagine it will do very well through festival season.

Food – 7/10

Service – 8/10

Atmosphere – 6/10

Value – 9/10

Overall – 30/40

Cost approximately £15 for 4 tapas dishes and two soft drinks for the deal. Would be closer to £20 for the non-deal option.