Freelance writer, food blogger and Etsy store owner.
Published December 20th 2010
Tapas is an exciting concept for those who love to try lots of different foods. Tapas translates literally to "small plates" and means that you'll receive exactly that - small plates of food.
Tapas is traditionally Spanish however in Sydney there is a number of tapas restaurants influenced by many cultures.
For example, Mundo, situated inside the Rydges Hotel in North Sydney, offers "global tapas". At Mundo you'll find small plates inspired by cuisines from all over the world. A mixture of Spanish, Mexican, Japanese and Italian (to name a few) small plates works surprisingly well. Each of the small plates I tried was extremely tasty and it seems your biggest problem will be narrowing down choices. Ordering at Mundo is also a novelty, taking place upon customised iPads. All you have to do is click on the items you want "send" your order to the kitchen. Also note that Mundo is somewhat difficult to find, a subdued dining room in a tucked away hotel.
Cantina in Darlinghurst is almost a traditional Spanish tapas bar but outside influences make it not quite so. Food at Cantina borrows flavours from Spain, Greece, Morocco and Portugal resulting in a Mediterranean tapas experience. The bar at Cantina is also influenced from places outside Spain offering a number of South American tequilas. If you're in a group of four or more, definitely think about ordering the banquet. The $40 banquet feeds you so well that you probably won't even think about eating for the next week. Booking at Cantina is essential, especially on weekends.
Subsolo, is a slightly up-market Iberian tapas experience. Subsolo offers a range of Spanish tapas and paella as well as authentic Portuguese Espadetas. Espedatas are charcoal spit roasted skewers brought straight to your table. They hang over your table on sword-like skewers and taste delicious. Subsolo is relatively expensive, even for tapas, and waiting for your food can sometimes take a long time. Nevertheless, Subsolo is definitely worth a try - maybe for a special occasion. Don't forget to order Sangria!
There are a number of tapas restaurants in Sydney that are definitely worth a try. Just remember that tapas can get expensive and sometimes it's best to go in a group so that you can try as many different plates as possible.