Newly opened, and just in time for summer with its lovely terrace, windowed with a roof that can be rolled back, Estrella de Tapas is a fresh experience in tapas served with a smile and a warm welcome. Tapas is a great idea for a different way of eating imported from sunnier climes than ours, but it travels well, small plates with eclectic flavours to be shared amongst you, always promotes a friendly and lively evening.
We were only two, but a party of sprightly ladies at a large table covered with dishes were obviously enjoying themselves, one remarking that she was glad her husband wasn’t amongst the party as he was a quick eater and would have been guilty of scoffing the best bits before she could get to them, which made us laugh. To start with we ordered three dishes, Spanish omelette with caramelised onion, mini burger served with caramelised onion and cheese, and, as far as I was concerned, a dish from the gods – chips deep fried in oil, topped with sunny side up eggs and crispy ham with spicy dressing and alioli. The omelette was beautifully cooked, risen in a small dome, the mini burger a small triumph and the third dish, a tapas take on egg and chips, was great. As explained by our friendly waitress, when served you break the egg yokes and toss it like a salad; if you have any children to take out this would be just the thing for a treat lunch, they would love it (as did we).
Carrying on down the menu, we ordered two bigger plates from the ‘tapas of the day’ menu, for me it was a toss up between the fungi risotto or pasta Bolognese, pasta bolognaise won out, together with fillet of sea bream served with asparagus. These two plates were much larger than we expected, the sea bream fillet topping a delicious looking medley of asparagus, green beans and tomatoes and the pasta bolognaise a twirled dome of spaghetti with a tomato rich bolognaise sauce liberally dolloped on top. I hadn’t had a carb fest for a long time and though slightly full of chips, did good justice to the bolognaise and most enjoyable it was too. The sea bream was excellent, lightly cooked and fresh, perfectly offset by the asparagus and green beans which still had a hint of bite.
There is plenty to choose from within the array of dishes on the menu and backed by the six dishes on the ‘tapas of the day’ menu there was something for everyone. It’s great fun tasting all the different small plates and makes for an interesting evening or lunch. In these days of the increased cost of living and expense, it’s a beacon for affordable eating, our bill was just over £40 for two, including two drinks each, so take your friends and family – they deserve it!