Veryquietly, there has been a Spanish revolution going on. Forget everything you think you know about La Tasca, the tapas chain because they’re making serious changes that may just have passed beneath the radar of many people. It’s no secret that the company has been through some tough times recently. Their reputation wasn’t great with a menu that had become a caricature of what British people think tapas should be like and in a recession, this was doomed to fail.
A number of branches around the country, including one in Chiswick, were forced to close down. However, under new management, La Tasca is evolving into an altogether different beast. Many of their London branches, including flagship restaurants in Victoria and St Martin’s Lane have a had a dramatic makeover to bring them into the 21st Century, with others to come soon. Out has gone the clichéd, stereotypical traditional taverna look, replaced with a modern, fresh appearance, the sort of tapas bar that actually exists in modern day Madrid or Barcelona. Due to customer demand, some of the old elements have been retained, but the fact that they’re listening to their regulars can only be a good thing. Of course, this would be nothing without an updated menu too.
The classics are all still there, but refined and perfected, less greasy and more healthy options and new additions. On our visit to the Victoria branch, we sampled the new recipe paella with chicken and chorizo; a classic dish that has been improved and is tastier than ever. Creamy cheesy croquettes and smoky cured jamon are essential orders too. We tried a few of the new dishes too, such as the sliders, pig’s cheeks and winter vegetable stew, things you may not have expected to see in La Tasca previously. The oddest new addition was the shoelace-thin fries with a fried egg on top – something we thought only the most uncultured Brits would order but we are assured that this is an authentic Spanish dish. Whatever your opinion of the La Tasca, it’s time to give them another chance. They have taken real strides in modernising the look, feel and tastes of their restaurants and have brought the chain into the 21st century.