As alluded to on earlier blog reviews, the climate for tapas in Liverpool has been a relatively stable one since the latin infusion from 2005-6 onward, seeing some places close, whilst others have thrived. The opening of Bar Bodega has added a string to the bow for nightlife in Tapas Tapas later on in a weekend evening, but prior to this business is food. The dark wood décor in which the restaurant is clad sets the mood perfectly, rows of various Spanish reds and jamon line the walls around the bar and the staff mill about in an unfussy but friendly manner. We decide to keep things relatively simple and stick to tapas, rather than opting for any larger dishes; three or four-a-piece is usually the going rate and I was not inclined to break the dogma.
All the dishes presented were pleasing on the eye, with three of the tapas providing a pleasing meal and the other three rather hollow disappointment. The Pollo al Coronel, breaded chicken strips were golden brown and succulent inside, placed as a meaty jenga on slate with salad; not much to get wrong here, but executed well enough. The Chorizo a la Miel was meaty, smokey, earthy and very sticky-sweet presented skewered as three small sausages, tasty, but the portion size was a little on the frugal side considering prices here the same could be said for the Fritura Vegetal, courgette and aubergine battered and fried, but not substantial enough for the price-tag.
The other tapas were, as previously alluded to, disappointing to say the least. The lambs kidneys cooked in Jerez sherry were almost inedible due to the acrid aroma of a club’s toilets halfway through a Saturday night. It has to be said, reducing the smell can be difficult, but additional soaking usually reduces the unpleasantness greatly. They were also slightly overcooked and towards the chewy end, although not as much of a work out for the jaw as the Calamares. Fragile insubstantial batter, superfluous oil and overcooking are 3 nightmares in one for squid; all together they make for a roll of the eyes and waste of a dish. Finally, a staple of many a tapas bar or restaurant, Tortilla is not something that is particularly diffuclt to master, but when done well is a superbly comforting addition to any tapas session. Here, the Tortilla was pleasant but for the reheating which had dried out the slice. Sometimes it is far better to have it cold with alioli and a side salad, leaving an uncomplicated room-temperature pleasure.
In the current climate, there has been upping of game for the city’s tapas fraternity, borne of competition. This is not up to the standard, considering the restaurant was not stretched by any measure. Some sloppy touches have led to a significant drop in what should have been. Improvement is definitely needed as other establishments continue to up their game.
Liverpool City Centre