Reviewed by Bharti Patel
La Tasca Covent Garden is about a 5 minute walk from the underground station on the opposite side of the main square where a lot of the other food places are. Upon arriving we saw a door way and a sign for La Tasca, it does not look so big from the outside and looks more like a bar. As I was attending the prestigious grand re-opening there was some ladies at the door with clipboards checking you off as you entered. As you enter immediately you are in a bar area that leads to 3 seating areas, one of which is downstairs with another bar that had music on and seemed to be where everyone was hanging out.
As soon as we entered we were politely offered a glass of rose or white cava and a waiter came over to offer us sea bass ceviche served in shot glasses. As I am vegetarian I will have to tell you what my husband said in regards to the meat dishes. In this case he said it was tasty but only if you really like fish.
We must have looked a little lost as another waitress came rushing over to us and asked if we knew what was happening and went on to explain the evening. There were samples of food being served throughout the evening, tasters from the new menu and cava and a sangria masterclass at the ground floor bar. As we walked towards the spiral staircase we were instructed to go and sample the Iberico ham carving being done on site and help ourselves to a plate. Again my husband was very quick to go pick up a plate and I had to quickly try and take pictures before it was all gone.
I have been to La Tasca before and the new refurbished venue looked amazing, it was very modern and clean looking and fit very well with the idealistic image of a trendy place to hangout in Covent Garden. It had started to get busy and the atmosphere was buzzing full of people who had finished work and were out to enjoy a few drinks.
A gentleman called Moses ran the sangria master class and explained the origin of sangria before making us up a strawberry sangria and a mango and passion fruit sangria. Moses informed us they have been busy creating even more flavours which will be on the menu, we may have to come and investigate them in the future. The sangria according to my husband was “a bit too easy to drink” that was a good thing! The mango and passion fruit was very refreshing perfect for a warm spring day as it turned out to be in early April. The sangria was served in unique jar looking glasses, very cool!
Taking our drinks we went to have a sit down on the middle floor, we were served some tasters of the menu in little boat style bowls of smoked tomato and goats cheese salad, this was the only vegetarian item served. It was very tasty and I had a few of them. This was followed by a smoked chorizo corn dog with smoked chorizo ketchup, it smelled nice and my husband loved it, he had my share too!
The staff were really polite and all but three of the staff are Spanish speaking making it feel very authentic. I queried if there were any other vegetarian tasters for me to try and one of the staff went over and got the manager for me. The manager, Susanna, explained there was unfortunately only one item but was great and asked the chef to prepare me a few tapas items to try. I was not expecting that and was very impressed that they would do that for me. I was brought out the Spanish tortilla, Berenjenas (aubergine in tomato with manchengo cheese) and seats a la plancha (garlic mushrooms) all under £5 a dish. They were all very tasty, my favourites were the tortilla and garlic mushrooms. I had a quick perusal of the menu before asking for a table and ordering a few more plates of tapas for the hungry husband. There is a great choice for vegetarians and each plate is under five pounds, the meat options are all under £5.50 except the 6oz burger and the paella dishes which are between £9 and £13 per person. As always on the menu it does state to allow 20 minutes when ordering the paella.
My husband ordered the slow cooked pork cheeks and pollo de mi abuela (chicken thighs in white wine with cinnamon). The chicken looked amazingly tender and had I been a meat eater I would definitely be ordering that, I was told it was really tasty. His favourite was the slow cooked pork, he said the meat was really well cooked with a lovely sauce and was served on a bed of skinny fries. The food was all brought out to us really quickly and everything was nice and hot when it came to the table.
We couldn’t leave without ordering a dessert even if we were stuffed, so I ordered the churros… I do not regret ordering them they were amazing! A must try.
Just before leaving we thought we would go to the toilets and to our delight there was a photo booth, I am like a big kid when it comes to photo booths so we had to take a couple and use the box of silly hats and glasses as props. They will be looking to put a permanent one in from next week I was told and they expect the cost to be approx £3 per set of photos, this is not yet confirmed.
Overall we had a fantastic night from the second we walked in from the helpful staff, to the food and drink on offer and the fun at the photo booth. The location is perfect for popping in after work and enjoying a drink or a bit of tapas with friends or a partner, and the new look is very contemporary and trendy.
For more information, to view menus or to book a table visit:
La Tasca, 23-24 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7NA | 0207 2409 062