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
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.