In celebration of La Tasca’s recent make-over, a new menu was launched and Leo Owen puts it to the test for North Leeds News
Twelve of us are warmly welcomed by the restaurant’s General Manager, Declan Woodward, who leaves us in the capable hands of the ever-smiling Tom. Tom is here to educate us about La Tasca’s main types of Sangria – their “traditional” mix and exclusive Cava concoction.
After explaining the drink’s Spanish heritage, the secret ingredients are revealed. Unlike conventional Sangria, La Tasca side-steps brandy for a mixture of Bacardi, vodka and orange cointreau combined with red from Bordeaux, lemonade and the normal floating fruit. The secret ingredients of La Tasca’s white Sangria are also disclosed as blackcurrant liquor and peach schnapps.
The keen cocktail makers among us, have a go at creating replicas of Tom’s summery flutes before an authentic Spaniard comes out to impress us with his jamon carving skills. La Tasca is possibly the only place you’ll find one on display in Leeds and at £650 a go, it’s hardly surprising. While Sergio effortlessly slices, the rest of us struggle, generally all carving far too deeply.
A taste of jamon and plain picos bread sticks is enough to get our mouths watering and taking pity on us, Declan ushers the gang downstairs to a large central table, already covered in jugs of Sangria. Surrounded by food bloggers, there’s talk of fillet knives and chef’s knives but when the food starts arriving in waves, we quieten down.
For a non fish-eater, the Montadito de Gambas (toasted ciabatta with smoked pancetta and prawns) and Pescado Blanco Frito (deep fried white fish in batter with paprika, roasted garlic and lemon mayonnaise) are surprisingly tasty. Of course La Tasca serves up expected tapas fare (Patatas Bravas, chorizo, Albondigas – beef and pork meatballs) but also throws in a few surprises, including pork belly with rosemary infused beans; paprika and garlic chicken wings; goat’s cheese and tomato salad and mixed beans with orange and mint salad.
In Come Dine With Me style we’re all asked to grade our experience and collectively we average a 7.5, suggesting Declan and his team have finally got it right.
Check out the new look La Tasca on Greek Street and sample its new dishes – they’re already taking bookings for the festive season.
4 Greek Street, Leeds, LS1 5PT
Tel: 0113 244 2205