Tapas Tips | Where To Find The Best In Sydney

By Emma McNamara
15th Jul 2014

¡Hola! This week we've decided to abandon the cold, windy and down right lifestyle repressing weather and travel abroad to Spain ai ai ai! Well, at least our taste buds are . . . yes, we're talking tapas. Tapas means to share a selection of deliciously, incredible, and tasty gourmet bite-sized pieces of heaven with your best amigos, where one plate is always followed by more. Mingling the ingenious Spanish tapas creation and combining it with Sydney's multicultural food scene we've set ourselves the task of bringing you Sydney's best tapas. Uno, dos, tres, bring on the share plates!

MoVida | Surry Hills

MoVida, located on Holt St, Surry Hills is the Sydney based, slightly younger (but just as incredible) sister-restaurant of the much-acclaimed MoVida Melbourne. MoVida Sydney has already been awarded two chef hats and we can understand why! Gourmet tacos by Paco, croquettes, home made pâté, braised beef cheeks, roast pork belly, or seafood all take your fancy? Can't decide which one you'll have? Well, problem solved — you can try it all in MoVida's mini-meals of tapas goodness. The Wagyu beef air baguette is brilliant and the roast pork belly with quince aioli leaves us licking our fingers, but it's the slowly braised beef cheeks in Pedro Ximenez Sherry with cauliflower puree that has left us satisfied with life. What more could we ask for?

Street Market Asian Tapas Restaurant | Kirribilli

Spanish tapas culture has mingled with the flavours of Asian street markets and created (drumroll…) the Street Market Asian Tapas Restaurant. Sit back with a glass of wine and imagine yourself enjoying the summer soirées of Spain, while the flavours transport you to the busy, chaotic night markets of Singapore, Shanghai and Manila. Start with some carpaccio, try the steamed barramundi fillet with ginger, soy and shallots, the pork and prawn wantons, or the roast pork belly pancakes. Saving the best for last, we recommend banana fritters with jackfruit, palm sugar caramel, and coconut ice-cream or the Asian-style churros, which is a Malaysian Roti served with a soft coconut caramel and chocolate dipping sauce. For those on a budget, head down to Street Market Asian Tapas on a Monday or Tuesday night for $10 Tapas (score!).

Foley Lane | Darlinghurst

Tucked into a cosy little corner and situated just behind the bustle of Oxford Street, Foley Lane is an uber hip cocktail and tapas bar where the staff are as friendly as the food is delightful. Enjoy manchego and chorizo empanadas and mussels in sherry with piquillo peppers and crusty bread — yum! The menu offers a constantly evolving selection of tapas so you'll never get bored. The cocktails are ingenious creations of fabulousness with interesting twists, such as lemon and rhubarb compote or Pimento bitters.

Despana | Glebe

Despaña is a cool, Glebe rendition of a Spanish café with exposed, white washed brick walls, funky Spanish-inspired decors, and wine barrel bar tables. Bring your amigos and enjoy some fruity sangria and feast upon the very well priced tapas and (so necessary) Spanish desserts. The envy we once felt over our fellow Aussies who flock to Europe each winter has been subdued — we've found comfort in Despaña's seafood paella and perfectly curated wine list, creating our very own Barcelonan experience at home. Despaña's menu means business with the roast brown mushrooms with spinach, pinenuts, and croutons or the veal and pork meatball dish with chickpea and chili puree—now we're talkin'!

Roy's Tapas | Bondi

Roy's Seafood Tapas Oyster Bar could sell itself through its title alone . . . what more could you possibly want from a Sydney tapas bar? Located just two minutes from Bondi Beach, Roy's restaurant is more than what meets the eye. As you follow the hand painted mural past the tables and mosaic bar and spill out on to the Tapas Garden you'll find a myriad of seating arrangements which allow you to get comfy on couches or banana lounges, or dine along large, communal tables whilst sipping on tasty cocktails. The tapas is designed to be shared and can be accommodated to your tastes, whether it be oysters, soft shell crab, scallops and apple salad, Wagyu beef, chorizo with tomato, or the mezze plate with a lil' bit of everything. Roy's transforms into a lively, social mecca on Friday and Saturday nights with DJs pumping out the tunes.

Tapavino | CBD

Tapavino staked its claim amongst Sydney's best tapas restaurants as soon as it opened its doors in August 2012. Meandering down a small cobblestoned alleyway you'll find Tapavino and the warm, funky vibe of its floor-to-ceiling wine bottle interior. The bar is well stocked and offers over 300 Spanish wines and 80 different Sherries, meaning there is something here to suit every taste. Dig into some charcuteries at the Bar Jamón, a warm, goat's cheese and spiced cream-corn tostado or even some braised chorizo, black olives, and homemade Romesco — it's all delicious!

Bodega | Surry Hills

Bodega heralds itself as an ode to the Argentinian way of life, which must be  pretty darn incredible if their dishes are anything to go by. The menu mixes modern tapas with inspired Latin American cuisines, and the meals are cooked in front of you in the open kitchen. Chocolate mole, smoked maple butter, and salsa are just some of the flavours added to their surf, turf, and veg' menu. We're drooling over the roast pumpkin, crispy zucchini flowers, manchego, and ranch dressing salad as well as the buttermilk pancake with salt cod, 62° egg and smoked maple butter. Whatever takes your fancy; you're assured to walk out with 'a full tummy and a happy heart' — amen!   

Jah Bar | Manly

Already the recipient of highly esteemed 5-star praise, we're going to go ahead and add our approval too. Tucked behind Manly's main corso, Jah Bar is great for couples or groups wanting to tantalise their taste buds with modern tapas offerings. The sangria is a fruity concoction of goodness, as are the cocktails — a pomegranate iced mar-tea-ni anyone? Fish snapper tacos cured in tequila and lime, scallops, and pork cheeks, and the Spanish meatballs are delish, while the Moroccan lamb roast, pork belly, or beef cheeks are ideal for sharing. If you're an early bird be sure to wrap your hands around the breakfast burrito!

York Lane Bar | CBD

This inner city café cum wine bar has you delving into another world, featuring cool interiors, great vinyls, alcoholic beverages and, of course, the name of the game — tapas! York Lane Bar offers a succinct menu, you're hardest decision will be which one to try first. We want the stuffed savoury pastry parcels and polenta rounds with two cheeses and silverbeet. Keep 'em coming, please!t

The Crow Bar | Crows Nest

Nestled in the heart of Crows Nest, The Crow Bar dishes up delicious tapas 'for pecking and sharing' (crow pun — love it). Our top picks include the creamy and crunchy croquettes, spicy chorizo (in true Spanish style!) and crispy pork belly. The wine list features an array of local Australian drops, while the cocktail list is equally impressive, with signature creations alongside all the classics. The Crow Bar is quickly becoming a northside fave for tapas.

Image credit: Nadialism Pinterest

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