Tapas at Escondido

Escondido Tapas & Wine is a fairly new and novel restaurant situated in Illovo. I am so glad that lately we have had restaurants pop up that don’t follow the norm. What makes Escondido different is that they serve tapas only from a menu that changes every few weeks. The tapas and meze concept is far and few between in SA restaurants which makes this restaurant rather special and unique.

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I love tapas because you can order, share and try a number of dishes. There are no plastic menus here, food and drink options are instead written on chalkboards throughout the restaurant. Doesn’t this spot look perfectly cosy and romantic for a date?

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Do be warned that its quite a popular small place so it does get super noisy. The decor is intimate, inviting and modern. I have been here in a large group for my birthday and on a dinner date, so I can safely say it is suited equally well to both type of occasions.

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They happily made us great non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris. There is a wide selection of cocktails, wine and craft beer to choose from.

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Consensus by everyone was that although the butternut gnocchi with feta and sage for R38 looked great it tasted rather bland.

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Breaded sole with salsa verde for R45 was a hit with the guys.

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Zucchini and pea risotto with parmesan and rocket for R49 was an absolute winner of a dish for the bf. My personal preference is the flavour combinations of the mushroom risotto.

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I quite enjoyed the salmon and lemongrass lollipops with a soy sauce for R68. It’s different to the normal seared salmon you find everywhere else.

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Wild mushroom arancini with truffle cream cheese for R19 each was not a dish I enjoyed. I didn’t like the flavours and found it quite heavy and stodgy.

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Thai chicken curry for R52 was very yummy. I wish I had ordered it after stealing a bite from someone else.

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I loved the addition of basil pesto in the baked melanzane with parmesan for R38.

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Coffee infused pork belly with parsnip and apple puree for R59.

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Grilled calamari with harissa mayo for R54 was disappointingly rubbery with strange flavours that didn’t taste like harissa.

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Veg tempura with a Turkish beetroot dip for R36. I feel that the fried zucchini offers better value for money as that is the only vegetable that is battered in this dish. The batter was a little too thick and the overall dish lacked seasoning.

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Exotic mushroom risotto with truffle oil for R58 is a rich, delicious, flavoursome dish. Definitely one of my favourites.

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It doesn’t get better than skinny fries with parmesan and truffle oil for R42. Best chips ever. Just so damn good!

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Service from the manager was good, but one waiter mumbled and couldn’t explain some of the dishes properly and the other forgot to order a dish. The tapas can be hit or miss but you will definitely find a few that you like. There are also plenty of vegetarian options to choose from which is generally not the case at most places. The prices are also very reasonable – we found six tapas to be more than sufficient between two people. Keep an eye out on their Twitter account for menu updates. I think its a great place for all occasions and a definite must try.

Ring: (011) 268 0058
Hop: Post Office Centre, Corner of Rudd Road and Otto Street, Illovo

Spanish & Tapas,
CG

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