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19 Shore Place,
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Nestled in a quiet corner by the gentle bustle of the Shore area, you'll find Tapa - a modest, unpretentious tapas restaurant offering a bite-sized taste of real Spain.

Having spent a year living and eating my way around Madrid, my expectations were pretty high yet Tapa did not disappoint.

This Sunday we were greeted by the bold and ballsy sounds of live Spanish guitar and a sizzling indoor paella barbeque. Decor is modern with a rustic edge, complete with retro bull fighting posters.

The restaurant was comfortably full, with families and friends enjoying a leisurely Sunday afternoon and manager Dan chatted away to diners, adding to the relaxed feel of the place.

We ordered five tapas between two, with the option of adding more as we went along, costing around £5 or £6 each.

How delighted I was to find the Tortilla cooked to perfection in an authentic style, with just the right firm consistency and proportion of egg to potato. Also the chickpea and morcilla (a style of black pudding) stew was deliciously smoky, and the aubergines deep-fried in honey are a must-try as they perfectly complemented the spicier dishes.

Served on a sizzling platter, the chorizo was devilishly moreish, and the only slight let down were the Gambas Pil Pil as the prawns themselves were lacking in flavour.

The drinks menu offered some quirky Spanish staples such as Cale Mucho (red wine and cola) and Tinto de Verano (red wine and lemonade), not to mention Sangria and a good selection of wine.

The indoor paella barbeque proved an intriguing feature and, once ready, everyone enjoyed a taste of the chicken, calamari and hake-packed paella which was well worth a full plate.

For dessert I chose the Galician almond tart, Tarta de Santiago, served with creamy homemade ice cream and my friend enjoyed crème caramel.

To the all important digestifs! The stunning Cacao Pico is the latest addition to Tapa's selection and despite its translucent appearance tasted of rich chocolate milkshake. The Cuarenta y Tres digestif - so-called because of its 43 ingredients - left warming vanilla and honey flavours on the palette.

Head to Tapa for truly rustic Spanish cuisine and enjoy some sunshine on Leith - olé! (L. Boyd)


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