Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published September 27th 2016
CBD favorite crosses the bridge as Encasa opens in Lane Cove
Tapas lovers of Sydney will know Encasa well, for it is not a well-kept secret and has had its tasty accomplishments shouted from the rooftops for the last several years. Well-located for locals and tourists alike, the staple Spanish restaurant has been a fixture on Sydney's busy Pitt Street just moments from World Square. And as of September 2016; a second restaurant is now located in the leafy North-Shore suburb of Lane Cove!
On a rainy Wednesday, we were fortunate to find several free tables; and it was easy to quickly imagine you were far away from work, and life, on the Lower North Shore. The staff should be commended for their friendly and efficient service as no request was too troublesome, and their Mediterranean accents added even more charm to a wonderful dining experience.
The tapas menu is extremely varied with a good balance of vegetarian, seafood and meat options; even the pickiest of diners could locate something to order, and the team are happy to assist in offering suggestions, or dietary guidance. The Pinchos Morunos ($17, four prime lamb fillet skewers marinated in Moroccan spices) were tender, juicy and full of flavour. I would happily reorder them anytime I revisited. The obligatory serving of Bravas ($11.50, fried potato with aoli and spicy tomato salsa) was generous in size, and had the perfect amount of heat in tangy salsa; sure to be a huge crowd pleaser. Our final choice; the Albondigas ($15, beef and pork meatballs) also did not disappoint, offering strong flavours and also a generous portion that could be shared between two.
If you are looking for something more substantial, or you're not a 'sharer', the menu has plenty of other options including pizzas, pastas, salads, paella and traditional bocadillos (Spanish sandwiches). Click here to see the full menu. If you have little Ninos with you, never fear; Encasa offers a children's menu with a main dish, dessert and drink for $15. Perfect!
Coffees to end the meal were robust in flavor as you would well expect, and a sneaky serving of dark-chocolate churros (shared between two) offers the perfect counter-balance to strong coffee. With both dine-in and takeaway available, and a family-friendly atmosphere the venue provides a lovely treat for locals and it is sure to bring a whole new wave of loyal diners to the area; I expect its popularity will rival nearby 'Via Napoli' shortly.