Bar Tapa is Darlinghurst’s unapologetically authentic Spanish tapas bar.
Dreaming of warmer weather now that the winter chill has well and truly gripped Sydney? Or perhaps reminiscing about a favourite family summer holiday? At Bar Tapa, the traditional homestyle tapas cooking which is ‘unapologetically Spanish’ might just be the perfect place to enjoy a little Spanish fantasy.
Headed by husband and wife team, Manuel “Manny” Terron and Sarah Miller, the Bar Tapa team are “not selling food, but instead a cultural experience,” says Sarah. With Spanish chefs, wine, cocktails, food and décor, they refuse to water-down or “Australianise” their offering.
No traditional Spanish tapas menu would be complete without Paella, Gambas Ajilo (garlic prawns) Crema Catalana, aioli, jamon and queso manchego. As you might expect, there is also an extensive list for ‘Bebidas’ (drinks in Spanish).
Here, the wine varietals stem from all over the Spanish countryside, paying polite homage to their Spanish heritage, as are the hand painted ceramics and beautiful decorative tiles. The team at Bar Tapa are friendly and could almost guarantee a lovely and relaxed food and wine pairing.
You’ll find all your usual Spanish suspects on the tapas menu, including croquettes of the day ($9), meatballs with a tomato and nut sauce and patatas bravas, delicious fried potato morsels with spicy bravas sauce ($7). Each dish is punchy, flavoursome and guaranteed to awaken your taste buds. Although we didn’t dabble in the Gambas al Ajillo, translating to prawns confit with garlic, the dish looked amazing from a far, as did the sangria ($10).
As for the Paella (mar y montana) with ‘seafood and mountain’, at Bar Tapa it’s made to order and served in traditional crockery. Bursting with seafood and meat on a bed of flavoured and well cooked rice, it’s a strong recommendation.
Here, the Spanish infusion of cuisine, bebidas, accents and atmosphere to this lovely eatery is convincing. As the meal reached a close and we farewelled our friends, we were half expecting to step out onto Las Ramblas and not onto East Sydney’s Stanley Street. What you’ll find though is that Bar Tapa has succeeded in combining the best of both worlds.
A great option for those dining on the east side of the bridge, Bar Tapa offers the perfect escape to the hustle and bustle of the city. If only for a few hours, enjoy some traditional Spanish jamon and cheese, Spanish wine, and a vibrant buzz humming from the patrons happily satiated and relaxed.
78 Stanley St Darlinghurst, Sydney
Open Tuesday – Friday 12pm-12am, Saturday 5pm-12am
To check out the official website, click here