La Guapa Tapas, CBD ($$)

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Address: 557 George Street (corner Liverpool Street), Sydney

Tel: (02) 8005 7077

Website: http://www.latapaguapa.com.au/

Opening hours:

Open lunch and dinner 7 days a week

* * *

MDS, Nicole and I decided to head over and check out one of the restaurants between Town Hall and Central. We had  planned to visit The Dip but Nicole had already been there before and we had seen a few tapas places on the way over. We decided to instead try out La Guapa.

Atmosphere

La Guapa is a tapas restaurant located in Sir John Young Hotel. Although it doesn’t look amazing on the outside (or inside), it was quite busy and we hoped that this meant the food was good!

1

Service

Service was alright but nothing special. The staff were very friendly but were not always attentive. We experienced a hiccup when we tried to order sangria at the restaurant but were told that we had to order drinks at the bar and food at the restaurant, which was a bit frustrating. Other than that, service was reasonable and staff were pleasant.

Drinks

We decided to order a jug of Sangria. It wasn’t very nice to be honest. The only fruit in the sangria was a slice of orange and some cubed apples and the wine was quite dry. Smaller fruit cubes, some orange or peach slices and a little more juice would really improve the Sangria’s presentation and taste!

4

Sangria, $22.00

Food

We ordered a number of tapas dishes and chose a paella for 1 to share between the three of us.

First out was the Garlic Bread. We were disappointed to find that it used a soft multigrain bread rather than a bread roll or sourdough. The result was a soft (not crunchy) garlic bread which failed to impress. The garlic flavours were there but the crunch factor that you expect from a garlic bread, was not.

2

Garlic Bread, $5.00

Nicole’s choice (which we all agreed with as it is a favourite tapas dish) was the Patatas Bravas- deep fried potato with tomato salsa and aioli. I really love this dish and I was pleased to find that it was tasty. The aioli was light and tangy in contrast to the well-seasoned crunchy potatoes and tomato salsa. Delicious!

3

Patatas Bravas, $9.50

We also ordered some Albondigas en Salsa, which was basically meatballs with tomato sauce. The meatballs were large and looked nice in the oblong serving dishes, topped with the delicious tomato-y sauce. MDS, Nicole and I all enjoyed the tomato sauce as it was flavoursome, rich and plentiful.

6

Albondigas en Salsa, $13.50

The Traditional Grilled Chorizo with spring onions was next. We were served long slices of chorizo, perfectly grilled on both sides to that they were crisp and slightly oily. Despite the fact that this dish involves almost no actual cooking ability to prepare, I really like chorizo so definitely enjoyed this side.

7

Traditional Grilled Chorizo, $12.00

We also ordered the Gambas a al Sevillana which was a dish of spicy prawns in olive oil, garlic and tomato salsa. The salsa was much the same as that used for the beef meatballs, while the prawns were well-cooked (and especially, not overcooked) and large. The only issue with this dish is that there weren’t really enough prawns. All in all however, I really enjoyed the spicy prawns!

8

Gambas a al Sevillana, $15.50

Finally, we received the Paella Mixtas – a paella containing seafood and chicken. The small paella pans were cute (I want one at home!), and added a more Spanish feel to the restaurant which is otherwise quite pubbish. The paella was quite well presented, with some lemon wedges and mussels sticking out, but looked nothing like the image portrayed on the menu which shows a paella piled high with seafood. Perhaps this is because we didn’t get a seafood paella but either way this one was nowhere near as impressive as what the menu shows. There was a lot of baby octopus in the paella, which I gave to MDS as I am not a fan of the little suckers! The seafood was all cooked quite well and was tasty but the paella itself was slightly dry, and slightly gluggy. It was OK but not amazing. It was cooked-well and filling but not exciting or indulgent.

9

Paella for One, $30.00

Overall, the restaurant provided good variety and choice, decent service and a convenient location. The patatas brava, chorizo and meatballs were tasty but the garlic bread and paella fell short.

Cost:

Overall the meal came to about $30 each + $22 for a jug of Sangria which we split between the three of us.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5
  • Food- 6
  • Ambience- 5.5
  • Value – 6.5

La Tapa Guapa at the Sir John Young Hotel on Urbanspoon

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