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Get your garlic and grease injections here!
La Tasca (Manchester)
Member Name: Bilbo Baggins
La Tasca (Manchester)
Date: 05/10/01, updated on 05/10/01 (89 review reads)
Advantages: Tasty food., Good value., Atmospheric decor.
Disadvantages: Lack of table space., Sometimes a queue.
I think La Tasca is the best Spanish Tapas restaurant in Manchester and as far as I know from my own experience, further afield as well. I base this opinion on the Tapas restaurants I’ve visited. I’ve been to 2 in Spain and 3 in England which makes 5. In my little Tapas restaurant frequenting book that’s quite a few.
There are as far as I know 3 La Tasca restaurants in Manchester, one in the vibrant studenty region of Didsbury, another on Deansgate in central Manchester, and a third in the bustling shoppers paradise which is the Trafford Centre. You can’t pick between them as they serve exactly the same food made with the same ingredients to the same recipes. Not with the same cooks though, that would be impossible!
I’ve been to them all and really enjoyed every visit. The decor is different at each although set up with the same theme in mind and that theme is simple romance. If you want to take your spouse to a decent and good value restaurant with a difference La Tasca is perfect. Taking her/him on Valentines day has got to get you back in their good books! The best decor award goes to the Deansgate La Tasca. It’s obvious a lot of thought and effort has gone into this and it is a pleasure to relax with the usual serving of around 5 dishes of Spanish food. It’s spacious with a high roof and plenty of ornamental Spanish pieces to look at which makes the whole place feel warm and cosy. There is a big blue porcelain mural behind the bar of the words La Tasca which makes you feel set back somewhere amidst the Pyrennes. As the creator of that sort of illusion in the middle of Manchester can only lead you on to a winner.!
The only criticism I have is that the tables always seem to be fairly small and to fit everything on becomes a bit of a Kripton Factor style mystery. I usually make sure I’m sat at two tables so me and my girlfriend can spread our dishes out. Don’t expect
extra table-age on a Friday or Saturday though because you won’t get it. The place is often packed. The one in Didsbury especially seems to have a shortage of space on the busier nights and people often get crammed in which is a bit annoying when you have 10 dishes, a plate of garlic bread, a bowl of Spanish olives, two pints of San Miguel and a jug of Sangria to find space for.
You’ll soon forget the precarious positioning of your plates and bowls over the table edges when you tuck in though. The food is sublime. If you like a bit (but not too much) grease and good lashings of garlic in everything then your mouth should water every time you here the name La Tasca. It’s not really the greatest place to take dieting persons although I’m sure there are dishes from the seemingly neverending list of Tapas that would be suitable. There is also a very good selection of vegetarian food. So what can you order?
As much or as little as you like is the short answer to that. With it being Tapas meaning ‘snack’ in Spanish, one dish will not fill the average person up. Neither will 2, or 3, maybe 4, and depending on the size of the previous 4, 5 dishes should in most cases be sufficient. I usually go on an out and out garlic binge with, among others, a dish of spicy food and a dish of fish (both of which usually contain garlic). Other Tapas restaurants I’ve been to tend to drown everything in grease but La Tasca seem to be more sparing in this department which makes the food much more balanced.
I can’t speak for every dish only most. The prices vary but as a general guide you’re looking at about £ 3 - £ 4 a dish which when added up at the end comes to about what you’d spend in an ordinary restaurant. The Ensalada Mixta is a good compliment to a lot of the hot dishes on offer. You can’t beat a bit of healthy rabbit food! The selection of Spanish cheeses is another good comp
liment to the other dishes, one which I try and eat at the end. Not very good value for money though. Another light dish is the toasted bread topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese served with fresh lemon. If you’re into your fishes, the Fritura Mixta de Pescado, a selection of deep fried squid, tuna, swordfish, whitebait and king prawn served with lemon, sea salt & garlic mayonnaise is a corker. Getting even more garlicy are the tasty garlic mushrooms. These are pretty standard of most good restaurants so worth a try. One of my favourite dishes and a good value one is the aubergine topped with cheese, tomato & herbs. This is almost a meal in itself and at around £3 you can’t go wrong. Then you’ve got the usual calamares and Paella (of which there is also a speciality menu). For a cracking mouth-watering fish dish try the king prawns in batter and garlic. There is also a spicier alternative which I’ve not yet tried and a tiger prawn dish. A greasy bugger of a dish is the spicy Spanish sausage fried I think in red wine. Lovely. The chicken dishes are also good and of course you can’t sit through a Spanish meal without a good helping of green and black olives.
My final note of advice is don’t go to work the day after. You’ll stink!!!!