My cousin introduced me to Tapa Bar last October. One night after hot yoga we decided to go for something light and she suggested Tapa Bar. I found it tucked away in Trounce Alley on Broad and Yates downtown, lit up with romantic tea-lights. Inside I was immediately tranfixed by the ambiance. I felt like I had just stepped onto the set of Vicki Christina Barcelona and I half expected Javier Bardem to join my cousin and I at our table. The lighting was dim but intimate with candles at each table and the spanish music complimented the setting perfectly. Being starved after burning so many calories at hot yoga, we devoured the complimentary roasted sun-flower seeds on the table. And then, it happend. We ordered the Mussels De Cha Cha Cha. I have never tasted anything quite as delicious. The “fiery pepper sauce” doesn’t even begin to describe the delight of these mussels, or the ectasy of dipping the fresh (and unlimited) foccacia bread into the sauce and savouring each bite. The sauce is the perfect combination of white wine, garlic, parsely, sambal, and tomatos. I’ve tried numerous times to recreate it at home, but I’ve never achieved the astonishing taste of this sauce. The mussels are always fresh and succulent, and they don’t cheap out on the amount of them either.
And ever since I tried them, I’ve been addicted. One Monday a few friends and I went to Tapa Bar for Martini Monday, and I ofcourse orderd the Mussels De Cha Cha Cha. Later on, my boyfriend (at the time) joined us, and we shared another order. Yes, they were so nice, I got them twice… in one sitting.
There are also many other amazing options on the menu. Another favourite of mine is the Grilled Carrots (in sweet mustard sauce). When I first saw these on the menu I was skeptical… grilled carrots? How exciting can those get? I was suprised to find them absolutely astounding. The sweet mustard sauce is a unique flavour and can also be eaten by the spoonful. I also suggest the Chorizo Fondu – its warm and smoky and delicious.
Looking for a Friday night dinner before going out? Put on a little black dress, your best Spanish accent, pretend you’re Penelope Cruz and strut down to Tapa Bar in Trounce Alley and experience the Mussels De Cha Cha Cha with some good friends and good wine.