Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Review- La Tasca, Cambridge

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Last week I was invited by the manager of La Tasca in Cambridge to come and sample their new menu. The last time I had been to La Tasca must have been at least 3, if not 4 years ago. The last time I had felt like everything seemed to taste the same, all in a tomato sauce and reheated rather than cooked from fresh. Well I have to say, it looks like La Tasca has completely changed their game. Kevin, the manager informed my that they have changed 80% of the menu and updated many of their other dishes. As well as this they have gone from just a handful of suppliers to around 45 in an attempt to source the best ingredients. I noticed on the menu that their paellas are cooked to order and they ask that you allow a minimum of 20 minutes when ordering them which gave me hope that they had made a big effort to make things better.
I also noticed that they have made a huge effort with gluten free dishes. They even serve a gluten free beer. A couple of my family members are wheat intolerant so its something I always keep my eye on with new places that I go to.
We started off the meal with a jug of of their traditional sangria and one of their sharing platters. My previous experiences of sangria have been of a very sickly and sweet drink that gives you an instant headache but I was very happy to discover a lovely light and refreshing drink which I could of happily drunk all night. Out of 1 jug we managed to get about 6 glasses and didn't end up stumbling out of the restaurant afterwards.
The sharing platter Tabla Espanola consisted of sliced chorizo, salchicohn, serrano ham, mixed olives, Manchego cheese & Spanish ciabatta which was a bit of a cross between ciabatta and a baguette. It was a nice start to the meal with good quality ingredients although it did fill me up quite a lot before the tapas so perhaps next time I would share this between more people or just choose a couple of items from the nibbles menu.

We then went on to choose our tapas dishes. We were recommended 3 each but everything on the menu sounded great and we found it really tricky choosing. We decided on Empanadas which were filled with spicy mince beef & regato cheese. These were devoured first and definitely something we want to have again.
We also chose the chorizo to see if whether the quality of the sausage had improved. With it being just grilled there was no hiding. The chorizo was lovely and tender and a really nice flavour, and thankfully not swimming in oil or a sauce.
Another favourite was the 3 bean and mint salad. Lovely and refreshing along with some of the slightly heavier choices. This is something I will be attempting to make at home. It is a mixture of kidney, borlotti & cannellini beans with chickpeas in a mint dressing. Another thing I would definitely order again.
For our 4th option we chose the slow cooked pork belly, another new item on the menu. This was lovely and tender and fell apart. It was a good quality piece of meat with not too much fat on. This was served on a tomato & bean sauce which accompanied it very nicely. Even Tim, who is a bit picky when it comes to meat loved it.
The lemon chicken was our 5th choice. It's a mixture of chicken breasts and Mediterranean vegetables that have been pan fried with lemon and served with a sticky lemon glaze. This was another lovely refreshing dish although probably my least favourite, although Tim really liked it, I'm just not a huge fan of chicken breast.
The calamares were our last choice but because Tim doesn't eat fish they were all mine. They were perfectly cooked, no rubber bands in sight and in a nice light batter. Unfortunately I couldn't quite finish this dish all on my own.
For pudding I had been planning on trying their churros but by this point we were so full we went for the lighter option of the strawberry & lemon sorbet which was a great end to the meal.
I really was pleasantly surprised by this meal as I had written off La Tasca a few years ago. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal and are already planning a trip back to try some of the other tasty sounding dishes. I am already kicking myself for not trying some of the other things on the menu.

The food is very reasonably priced with tapas dishes ranging between £2.95 and £5.95 and Paella between £8.95 and £11.95.


  1. I haven't been for at least 4 years and we didn't have a great experience. Everything took ages and we practically had to chase a waiter across the restaurant for our bill. Maybe worth another go now though!


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