Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
Reviewed by Nicola Mccallum
La Tasca, Portsmouth is one of many restaurants situated at Gunwharf quays. It has a prime location near the Spinnaker Tower and a large sitting area outside which overlooks the harbour. I am a lover of tapas, mainly because I am so indecisive in deciding what to have, I was really looking forward to an evening catching up with a good friend without the children and having an enjoyable meal out.
Upon entering we were greeted by a friendly member of staff who showed us to our table and I was instantly hit by the welcoming Spanish atmosphere. A selection of tables were available on a slightly spilt level ground floor and an impressive spiral staircase lead to further seating upstairs. The feel of the restaurant is very Mediterranean with low lighting and background music playing softly in the background. Within a few moments of us sitting at our table we were handed a menu, introduced to our waiter for the evening and our drinks order taken.
The menu was very easy to follow and well laid out with main tapas spilt in sections of fish, meat and vegetables. The menu was not only filled with tapas dished but had a selection of paellas and whole baked fish. I was pleasantly surprised to see a large selection of gluten free products on their menu, with a close friend who has to avoid gluten in her diet I am well aware of issues when it comes to her dining out with friends. She normally struggles to firstly find suitable food then when she does she is limited in her selection but many dishes on the menu are marked with a gluten free symbol.
After making some difficult decisions we finally settled on three dishes each. I had decided upon Gambas Al Ajillo (butterfly king prawns in chilli and garlic infused oil), Paella Del Dia (meat and fish paella) and Pollo Marbella (chicken breast, cooked with chirizo, white wine and cream sauce). I thought I have done well with my choices as each dish was cooked to perfection until I tried my friends pork cheeks, they were tender, full of flavour and simply melted in your mouth. I was unsure if three dishes would be enough but it was just right and each dish was very reasonably priced. There were several special offers available too and whilst waiting for our food I noticed an offer for two starters, and three main tapas all for £14.95.
Although the food is excellent and the restaurant clean it is the service and the atmosphere which makes me want to return to La Tasca again. Despite it being a busy Saturday night I never once thought I was being rushed to finish my meal and although I could see our waiter, Jorge was busy he still had enough time to talk with us and ensure that all our needs were catered for. After we had finished our meal he spent the time chatting to us as I was intrigued by a billboard about the Sunday salsa dancing. I have found out that this is a weekly event open to everyone where there is the chance to enjoy a bit of salsa dancing and enjoy a buffet afterwards. Looks like I have just found another reason to return again soon.
Overall I had a great night with thoughts of returning again soon. It is definitely a place I want to enjoy with my friends and my family. I would not hesitate in giving La Tasca 5/5 although I wish I was able to award a higher mark just for the service alone.
For more information, to view menus or book a table visit www.latasca.com