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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

You could be in Madrid...

When I used to work in the city, one of the places I used to go to escape and relax from a day’s employment was the Spanish styled chain restaurant, La Tasca. In Nottingham they have a very nice branch on the corner of Weekday Cross.

The picture above is the bar from the spiral stairs.

Just half an hour at the bar with a cool pint of San Miguel going down nicely and some Spanish music in the background would refresh my soul and take my stresses away. They also do Cruzcampo cervezas – equally nice to drink.

Other times I have enjoyed a meal with friends sharing some tapas from their extensive list, maybe with some sangria, a beer or a glass of red wine. The menu there has the added advantage of giving the English and Spanish names for everything. So, not only do you have the opportunity to pick out a selection of scrummy food items but you can attempt a little Spanish language too. A lot of the young staff are Spanish which really helps create a convivial continental atmosphere. All of a sudden you could be in central Madrid and not Nottingham in a downpour.

My personal favourites from the tapas menu are:

Aceitunas mixtas – marinated green and black Spanish olives.
Pan de Ajo – garlic bread.
Jamón Serrano – the famous Spanish cured Serrano ham.
Selección de Embutidos – selection of cured Spanish meats.
Brocheta de Pollo – skewers of chicken breast and red pepper, marinated in paprika.
Albóndigas a la Jardinera – Spanish style beef meatballs in tomato sauce.
Gambas Pil Pil – six king sized prawns, sizzling in chilli and garlic infused olive oil.
Patatas Bravas – fried potato topped with spicy tomato sauce.
Croquetas de Champińones – mushroom croquettes served with roasted garlic mayonnaise.
Ensalada mixta – leaf salad with tomato, tuna, onion, olives and free range egg with house dressing.
Ensalada de Espinacas y Aquacate – fresh baby spinach with avocado, cucumber and onion with La Tasca house dressing.

If sharing they do various preset selections of tapas – with meat – with fish – chef special and their various paellas are delicious. My favourite from a previous visit with theatre chums was the Paella de Mariscos – seafood paella with prawns, squid, mussels, white fish and tuna.

I’m not a big dessert person but I can be tempted by La Tasca’s Crema Catalana – a traditional Spanish style vanilla custard topped with caramelised sugar.

The Nottingham branch is fairly large and the top floor gets opened of a Friday and Saturday night and if you are planning top go on either of those two nights I would suggest you pre-book as they can get very busy.

Visit their website at for more details.

For other great Spanish style recipes to cook at home I recommend:

Thanks to their manager today for allowing me to take the photos that accompany this blog.


Marian Barker said...

Mmmm - my mouth is watering.

Phil Lowe said...

Hop over on the next available flight Marian. I'll treat you if I'm not busy at the Poodle Parlour.I'm having pink extensions done. Wuff :0)

Ricardo said...

Well mate La Tasca what a know what I live in Nottingham I used to know people that worked in La Tasca and I never been. If you like that kind of thing there is a café, is Portuguese not Spanish but they sort of ok called Iberian Delight in Hyson Green that you should visit (google it for directions)...if you ever go say Ricardo recommended it, you'll get no discount nor will I hehe but you will always be treated well there and you get a taste of some Portuguese cousine particularly on Saturdays when they make their specials. I will certainly consider visiting La Tasca my friend ..thx for following my blog. :D