Gasp! They have tapa in Australia?? #PinoyPride! (Okay, that was a lame joke, but indulge me.)
In case you’re puzzled, I was trying to make a pun by comparing our native tapa to the Spanish tapas. There might be just one letter distinguishing one from the other, but they couldn’t be any more different.
Tapa refers to thin slices of beef that are cured with salt and spices to preserve them, and then grilled or fried once they are nice and dry. Served alongside a sunny-side up egg and a cup of garlic rice, tapa is one of the elements in a classic tapsilog breakfast.
Tapas, on the other hand, are a wide assortment of hot and cold appetizers best enjoyed with a glass of wine. Having originated in Spain, tapas are thought to encourage conversation during nights at the bar since diners can pick at them and even walk around while eating.
Because a night at the tapas bar is a more relaxed alternative to an evening spent at a club or disco, it’s become increasingly popular among the equally laid-back Brisbanites. Below are just a handful of the most popular places where you can indulge in this delightful Spanish tradition:
A favorite among the Park Road crowd, this Mediterranean-themed bar and bistro not only serves Spanish classics like Manchego cheese croquettes, but also Italian mains like Osso Bucco and Vitello Tonnato (rare roasted veal).
Address: 11/20 Park Road, Milton QLD 4064
Contact number: +61 7 3369 7775
Don’t let its small space and charmingly industrial ambience fool you. Brew might be better known as a breakfast or coffee nook, but if you venture into their narrow bar and restaurant further inside, you’ll be rewarded with the some of the city’s tastiest tapas.
So, go ahead and order a glass of house red wine and a plate of their delicious morcilla sausage with mozzarella, tomato, and basil.
Address: Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City, QLD 4000
Contact number: +61 7 3211 4242
This watering hole in Woolloongabba’s antiques precinct is more of a beer snack sort of place, but their Tapas and Tequila Tuesday is worth checking out. Those looking for a unique cocktail to sip along with their tapas of choice will certainly find that here. The equally inspired-looking drinks menu is also worth noting, especially for those with an eye for aesthetics.
Address: 16 Logan Road, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Contact number: +61 7 3891 2111
Hankering for some tapas but got no one to go out with? Head on over to this tapas bar that’s just a few minutes away from the Cultural Centre bus station.
The Granada tapas bar specializes in a fusion of Spanish and Mexican cuisine, as evidenced in dishes like Baja Taco and Cerdo en Chipotle (slow roast pork shoulder in chipotle with beans and rice on corn tortillas). They’ve also got single servings of tapas like empanadillas ranging in price from AUD3-AUD8, so introverts seeking alone time will have no trouble availing of that here.
Address: 154 Melbourne St., South Brisbane QLD 4101
Contact number: +61 7 3844 4757
While it’s not strictly a taperia, Chef Javier Codina’s menu in this relaxed dining restaurant features entree-sized dishes that can be mixed and matched as share plates. If you’ve ever been curious about what a duck liver parfait with Pedro Ximenez jelly would taste like, visit Moda on a Thursday or Friday for a Pica-Pica lunch. AUD30 gives you about five different kinds of tapas along with coffee and petit fours for dessert.
Address: 12 Edward St., Brisbane City QLD 4000
Contact number: +61 7 3221 7655
Now, this is a full-blown taperia if there ever was one. This South Bank institution has completely devoted itself to serving tapas, raciones, and of course, full pitchers of rich, fruity red sangria, making it a hotspot any night of the week.
Address: Little Stanley St., South Brisbane QLD 4101
Contact number: +61 7 3846 1201
With the heritage-listed Barracks as its neighborhood, this dimly-lit taperia is so popular that it’s packed even on weeknights. The ambience is elegantly rustic, and their piquillo peppers stuffed with vegetable paella are sure to taste even more piquant amidst the mural-painted walls or on the secluded tables in the leafy outdoor area.
Address: 5-61 Petrie Terrace, QLD 4000
Contact number: +61 7 3367 8066
Brisbane might not be Barcelona, where taperia’s are a dime a dozen, but they can certainly hold their own if we are to consider the quality of the tapas bars scattered throughout this place.