Leith’s terrific Tapa

For some time now I’d heard reports of people making the journey to Leith on the number 22 bus and after disembarking heading straight to Tapa. This is Leith’s first tapas bar, which has opened in the premises vacated by Bar Diesel. We’ve visited Tapa on a number of occasions and have been impressed each time. However, last Sunday was by far the highlight, when we experienced Tapa’s ¬£10 lunch for 2. A sure sign of the quality and value of Tapa’s food was a group of Spanish visitors on the table next to ours - they were in a celebratory mood at the end of their meal; demonstrated by the copious amount of alcohol they were consuming from Tapa‚Äôs large Spanish selection.

Paella tapas at Tapa, Leith, Edinburgh Tapa's chef selection for two - lunch at Tapa, Edinburgh

Let’s start with Tapa’s unbelievably good value lunch. This offers six tapas dishes and a salad for two people. It’s available 12pm - 5pm every day. A large complementary bowl of bread is also included. We ordered the lunch and were taken aback by the amount of food. Tapa’s chef selections for two were:

  • Patatas Bravas - well cooked potatoes with a moreish spicy tomato and mayo mixed sauce
  • Fresh cod in batter- lovely chunks of white fish in an accomplished batter
  • Spanish meatballs in traditional tomato sauce - really good quality, lovingly made meatballs
  • Omelette - two thick slices of perfectly cooked Spanish omelette with a potato filling
  • Spanish ratatoullie - a good mixture of onions, peppers and courgette
  • Squid rings - served in a light batter, these were crisp and fresh to the taste

As the menu described this as a “light lunch” we also ordered paella (¬£4.75), from the specials board. If we had known the lunch for two was anything but light we wouldn’t have ordered the paella: it wasn’t needed. But we struggled through, as the paella was better than most Spanish restaurants would serve - although I would have liked it to contain a little more chicken and prawns.

The first time we visited Tapa was really just for a drink and to check the place out. Their Cava (4.70 a glass) and a selection of bottled beers from their Spanish range all went down a treat, with my particular favourite beer proving to be Estrella Damm (¬£3 a bottle). We did get tempted to try one of Tapa’s tapas dishes though, the Berenjenas Con Miel (¬£3.95). More simply this was fried aubergine in a light batter drizzled with honey and it was absolutely delicious! As the waiter himself said - “good choice”.

We enjoyed Tapa’s fabulously simple broad beans and ham on our second visit, which has proven to be my favourite dish. Also Tapa’s prawns served in a sizzling garlic olive oil and their meatballs were very good. As should be the case, Tapa’s friendly staff were happy to fetch more food when required, rather than having to place one huge order.

It’s also worth noting the great job Tapa have done with the interior of this restaurant. Bar Diesel never got it quite right and the bar felt a little empty and chilly, due to the main door opening directly onto the street. Tapa have combated the entrance problem, by installing a glass porch which makes a massive difference. The rest of Tapa is simply decorated, but it expertly portrays a laid-back feel, which means you really feel comfortable and happy to spend time in the restaurant.

Tapa is an excellent tapas bar / restaurant for any meal or for just drinks and a snack. However the outstanding value of the £10 lunch for two is without doubt and this is surely the best way to assess Tapa for yourself. Their lunch is surely one of the best value and most delicious to be enjoyed anywhere in Edinburgh. Very highly recommended.

Tapa is located at Wishart’s Warehouse, 19 Shore Place, Edinburgh EH6 6SW
Telephone: 0131 476 6776

6 Responses to “Leith’s terrific Tapa”

  1. Was there for lunch today after reading all the positive reviews. It was good and for ¬£10 you can’t really complain but the 6 dishes we got were all veggie apart from the squid rings which we got with chickpeas in a lovely sauce, asparagus (although this had a slice of what looked and tasted like orange Scottish cheddar), aubergine (again with the orange cheddar), potatos bravas and ratatouille.

    I would definately go back - maybe for dinner.

  2. I’ve only been in to Tapa at night, and have to say the food has always been superb.
    I love the battered cod dish (Bacalao) with the lime mayonnaise.
    The staff are also worth commending - a really great team.

  3. We went there a few weeks ago. We had intended to go to the Mexican on Commercial Quay but it was closed, so headed up here to what we though was still Bar Diesel :)

    A very pleasant meal, with a fine selction of dishes. Particularly enjoyed the patatas bravas (were they made with Scottish new potatoes?), manchego platter and the squid. They looked after the kids very well too (patatas bravas were a big hit!). Will certainly return.

  4. Tried the advertised ¬£10 special tapa lunch for two, was so impressed with the quality and value went back on friday for the evening meal…..well we had the most fantastic evening with two off the specials, half lobster, prawns pil pil plus a selection of various tapas, service ambiance,all combined to make this evening most enjoyable, so much so went back to try the Sunday special with paella and again the special tapa for two at ¬£10. Highly recommended

  5. Tried the advertised £10 special tapa lunch for two, was so impressed with the quality and value went back on friday for the evening meal…..well we had the most fantastic evening with two off the specials, half lobster, prawns pil pil

  6. I was looking forward to a lovely birthday experience after reading the reviews and was sadly disappointed. Some of the food was OK but nothing special. My favourite was the aubergine chips with honey and the cod in batter was nice. We ordered two blackboard specials and they were horrible. The langoustines and paella were both overcooked. The langoustines were like rubber and the paella was a black mess. I’d never seen paella like it either here or in Spain. We were asked if we enjoyed the meal and we said the langoustines were bad but nothing was done about it. We left nearly all the paella 3 out of 5 langoustines yet nobody came to see why. In the case of the paella it must have been apparent why as you could used it for wallpaper paste. I’m not a fussy eater and have had excellent meals at The Kings Wark, Compass, Nobles, Roseleaf and Guilty Lily lately and have polished my plate. I’ll be going up to town for tapas in future.

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