Tapa is tucked away, 19 Shore Place, just around the corner from the Shore. It is worth finding though – especially if you’re a fan of Spanish food.
The restaurant is large; with two distinct sections. I once had a pleasant dinner almost unaware there was a large group of diners in the second section and was surprised when a stream of excited school kids appeared from around the corner while they waited ice-cream. This twin section layout certainly favours Tapa.
Although the restaurant is fairly sizable I recommend picking a slightly larger table than you might expect. If there are two of you then try and get one of the round tables set up for three people. Why? Tapas generates lots of plates.
After numerous trips to Tapas I think the ideal number of plates per person is two. You get good sized portions (for tapas) and its easy to fill up. There’s bread to start with and always the possibility of dessert too.
I’ve never needed to book. Our trips to Tapa have tended to be almost impulse decisions to pop in for dinner after a busy working day. They’ve always managed to find us a table. My hunch – I’ve been lucky. If you suspect booking might be important for your visit then it’s good to note the restaurant’s website does have a online booking form which works with either the Leith arm or the Hanover Street one.
Tapas have usually done well with the food – when they haven’t it has been one of those times when, since we’re talking tapas, I’ve risked something unusual for me in order to try something new and lost the gamble. If you’re not an adventurous eater then you may find the menu is a little unforgiving but there are “safety” potato dishes as well as specials to ask about.
The staff at Tapa Leith have always been quick and friendly. In fact, I’d say the relaxed and casual atmosphere of the place is one of my favourite things about it for dining destination. At Tapas, even after plenty of trips, I still feel like we’re eating out somewhere nice and yet enjoying the reassurance of the familiar. That’s quite a trick.
Staff are quick but one of the side effects of the tapas model is that staff can find themselves ferrying many plates from the kitchens to a single table. Combine that with the fact there are sections out of direct eyesight from key places like the bar then its possible staff sometimes miss you’ve finished your meal. It’s not happened often but on occasion, when we’ve been in a rush, I’ve had to flag someone down for the bill. It’s always then been brought promptly and with a smile.
I’ve always enjoyed my trips to Tapa. Recommended.