Tapa Tapa is a blend of for­mal and ca­sual

Louisa Emery taps into tapas pas­sion from the owner of La Bar­rique as he ex­pands his em­pire

The Wharf - - Area Focus -

Apas­sion for Span­ish din­ing and an en­thu­si­asm for the Royal Docks area in­spired ex­pe­ri­enced restau­ra­teur John D’ell-Ross to ex­pand his em­pire.

The owner of La Bar­rique, next to Ex­cel’s western en­trance, saw it as an ob­vi­ous move when he opened up Tapa Tapa next door a year ago.

John said: “I have been liv­ing in the area for 15 years so it was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion from La Bar­rique, which is more of a wine bar with great food.

“Tapa Tapa is still ca­sual din­ing but with a lit­tle more for­mal­ity, or as for­mal as a tapas shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ence can be.

“It’s great for a busi­ness lunch but equally en­joy­able for a cosy meal with a friend or part­ner.

“So ca­sual enough to re­lax and let your hair down but we are pas­sion­ate about look­ing af­ter our guests, so ser­vice is ex­cep­tional.

“Guests are book­ing large ta­bles of eight, 10 or more for spe­cial oc­ca­sions like birthdays and busi­ness events.

“We see many of the same guests who visit La Bar­rique but are look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent.”

If you’re a lover of Span­ish food and en­joy shar­ing with friends then Tapa Left, Tapa Tapa de­liv­ers a cosy place to dine in­for­mally on the likes of tuna tartare, right Tapa is de­signed around its clients. The menu fea­tures both tra­di­tional tapas and al­ter­na­tive dishes with a mod­ern twist.

“The mod­ern tapas part of the menu is more global,” John said. “It’s our in­ter­pre­ta­tion of well-known dishes with in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ences.

“Al­most all of our team are of His­panic ori­gin and one of the chefs is Peru­vian so we are par­tic­u­larly proud of our Cer­viche Yu­cateco dish at present.

“We also have Mini Ham­bur­gue­sas which ap­peal to kids and busi­ness peo­ple and we use the very best Iberico Belotta ham and Manchego cheese – both fa­mous Span­ish in­gre­di­ents – to make these stand out.”

John is proud of the qual­ity of the pro­duce used to cre­ate the dishes at Tapa Tapa and the fo­cus is not just on food.

“The first restau­rant I ever owned was in Spain, in Ibiza Town, ac­tu­ally,” he said.

“I wanted to bring some­thing back from that. I en­joyed the Span­ish din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s a real com­pli­ment when Span­ish din­ers say how much they en­joy our food.

“We make sure we get our in­gre- di­ents from the best sup­pli­ers in Lon­don and our chefs pre­pare dishes that re­flect the sea­sons. I’m just very pas­sion­ate about food and wine.”

As for de­vel­op­ments, Tapa Tapa has just in­tro­duced a Gin Ton­ica menu.

John said: “We have five dif­fer­ent qual­ity gins and five dif­fer­ent types of Fever Tree tonic.

“Our house clas­sic serve is Gin Mare with Fever Tree Mediter­ranean tonic and lemon thyme.

“We’ve cre­ated four other com­bi­na­tions that all come with a herb or cit­rus fruit gar­nish and dif­fer­ent Fever Tree tonic.

“Like in Spain the the­atre of watch­ing our team make Gin Ton­ica is al­most as much fun as drink­ing it.” To make a reser­va­tion or to find out more about Tapa Tapa go to tap­at­apa.com.

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