I love it when you happen upon a place you've never been before, seen before, read about or had recommended and come away having found a little gem.
Last Saturday night, we did just that.
We were heading out to see a performance by the Lane Cove Theatre Company of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and decided last minute we'd eat out beforehand. We needed somewhere near Lane Cove that would serve dinner in a shortish amount of time and at a reasonable price. As we walked down Lane Cove Plaza, we happened upon Lodge Tapas and, liking the sound of the menu, decided to give it a try. I'm so glad we did.
The menu delivers typical tapas style dishes as well as some more unusual, delicious plates
The restaurant has a warm and buzzing ambiance with happy staff and a diverse clientele – couples tucked away, groups of friends at big tables, families and girls' on a night out. Whilst we needed to be in and out in 70 minutes, it's the sort of place where you could happily settle for the whole evening, as some people appeared to be doing.
In addition to typical tapas style dishes, there were some surprises on the menu. Our taste buds were tempted with plates such as:
sauté olives with chilli, dill, garlic, onion and crispy Turkish ($9)
grilled haloumi marinated in lemon and thyme with capsicum pesto ($10)
chorizo and clams slow cooked in white wine and cherry tomatoes and pan gratato ($16) and
lamb and pork meatballs with pomadore sauce and balsamic reduction ($14).
Our attention, however, was drawn towards some of the more unusual selections including twice cooked pork belly in a sweet Chinese vinegar served on poached beetroot and pears ($17) and sweet kumera and ricotta gnocchi cooked in a burnt butter and sage sauce finished with aged Parmegiano ($15). We were not disappointed. The pizza menu is also a treat – we enjoyed a mild chorizo, Kipfler potatoes, Napoli and truffle oil pizza ($22).
There is also a children's menu and, looking around the restaurant, enough families to suggest this is a family friendly place without being overrun with noisy kids.
Lodge Tapas is also fully licensed and has a vast drinks menu with wine, beer, cocktails and other beverages to accompany your tapas including, of course, the traditional Sangria.
Leave enough time (and room) to try the delectable desserts and sensational sweets
Mindful of our need to get to the theatre, our waitress made sure we ordered and were served quickly but without making us feel rushed. We didn't have time for dessert this visit but will be going back with friends to share this little gem of a local eatery and to try a few more of the tasty treats on offer.
Lodge Tapas is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday - Saturday 07:30 till late, Sunday 07:30 till 19:00.
Keep an eye on the Lodge Tapas website for specials (including children eat free events) or go to their Facebook page for more information.
Went there for lunch with family on Sat. Service was not attentive. I have a 3 yr old with me and no offer of highchair. We ordered coffees, water and pizza for the kid. 10mins later, the coffee and pizza came...but no water. I had to ask 3 times before someone eventually bring the water over. I can see waitress running around but no one seemed to be doing their job.
We order 2 beef burgers and a chicken ciabatta. Nothing special. The beef burger was tasteless, except for the chilli jam that gives the spice. The chicken was dry and tastless. chips was overcooked.
Coffees was decent.
Overall, bad experience, a bill of over $70 for lunch for 3 adult and a kid. I would expect something more given the layout