It seems La Tasca now has more restaurants than dishes on its menu but it’s easy to see why. The merry buzz and tasty tapas served up by the neatly hidden Victoria branch is indicative of a brand that more often than not boasts an evening of enjoyment.
Among the swirling bustle of Victoria it’s easy to miss Cardinal Place – a swish retail development strip a mere two minutes from the station. You’d be forgiven for tottering past La Tasca without recognition were it not for the raucous howls of eager youths from the bar directly opposite (at weekends at least). The inside is familiarly furnished – wild sunflower cut outs dangle from the ceiling, orange lanterns burn brightly and the walls are decked in grand mirrors, Spanish-style pottery and spiraled bowls. Each circular wooden table is graced with a candle.
The restaurant is certainly more of a dinner venue. As darkness descends and the lights dim, La Tasca becomes perfect date fodder. As the evening progresses, the candles flicker as Latino vibes purr gently over the jovial jabber of the waiters and waitresses. Evenings and weekends are particularly busy so if you haven’t booked, pull up a stool and prepare to prop up the bar for a bit. To its credit, customers seem to remain calm and relaxed despite often waiting considerable lengths of time to acquire tables.
If you feel a little overwhelmed by the daunting array of dishes on offer you can always go for one of the set menus. Perfect for couples – both the tapas taster with fish and the tapas taster with meat are available for about £20. But to pick a set menu is surely shying away from the essence of tapas and it’s much more fun to pick and mix, chop and choose and select your own individual combination of flavours. The meatballs are dripping in a spicy tomato sauce, the courgettes of chicken are gently massaged by a light mayonnaise dip and the spicy chorizo sausage is soaked in wine and complemented by cured Spanish Serrano ham. If you like your meat, you’re certainly in luck. However, if you feel like a more wholesome alternative there’s an array of paella dishes on offer if you happen to be in a large group.
Wine seems to be the obvious and ideal accompaniment to tapas and La Tasca possesses a considerable list. A bottle of house white will no doubt suffice the average Joe but the Cava (sparkling white or pink wine) caters for large parties and is the equivalent of four customary bottles.
The Last Word
Easily accessible for all Londoners – This La Tasca is brimming with vim and vigor and provides a suitable sojourn for large work parties after a long day at the office. But make sure you embrace the tapas – order as many dishes as possible and fill your boots. Evenings and weekends recommended.