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.
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?
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.
They happily made us great non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris. There is a wide selection of cocktails, wine and craft beer to choose from.
Consensus by everyone was that although the butternut gnocchi with feta and sage for R38 looked great it tasted rather bland.
Breaded sole with salsa verde for R45 was a hit with the guys.
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.
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.
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.
Thai chicken curry for R52 was very yummy. I wish I had ordered it after stealing a bite from someone else.
I loved the addition of basil pesto in the baked melanzane with parmesan for R38.
Coffee infused pork belly with parsnip and apple puree for R59.
Grilled calamari with harissa mayo for R54 was disappointingly rubbery with strange flavours that didn’t taste like harissa.
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.
Exotic mushroom risotto with truffle oil for R58 is a rich, delicious, flavoursome dish. Definitely one of my favourites.
It doesn’t get better than skinny fries with parmesan and truffle oil for R42. Best chips ever. Just so damn good!
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,