Tapas to write home about

Good food, great company, relaxed atmosphere.

17 December 2018 | Art and Entertainment

Gerine Hoff - Our book club (read eating and wine-drinking group that exchange books every month) wanted to end our year on a high note, so we decided to head over to El Barrio Tapas Bar and Restaurant in leafy Liliencron Street for a night to remember.

And it definitely was an outing for the (wait for it) books!

Perhaps it had to do with the atmosphere, the beautiful, balmy night, the excellent company, the fantastic food and service, or probably all of the above, we all agreed – it was a wonderful experience.

In the December heat, it was a relief to sit outside under the fairy lights that let you imagine you're enjoying an al-fresco meal somewhere exotic like the Spanish countryside. Since two of our members had arranged for our tapas earlier, we didn't need to study the menu for much more than what we wanted to drink.

Once we were ready to eat, our waitron started bringing out our dishes – and what a variety! One looked more delicious than the next. The tapas Charlene and Dotty decided on for us, included quesadillas, nachos, olives, chicken wings, beef sirloin, sweet potato chips, tuna empanadas and Greek salad, and there was more than enough for all of us. In actual fact, we still took doggy bags home.

Having undergone a minor facelift since the days of being Que Tapas, El Barrio opened its revamped doors at the end of June this year along with a few cosmetic changes to the décor and menu. Except for meals, the restaurant often plays host to arty events, including musicians and exhibitions. While we were there, artist Daniela Magg was exhibiting her latest collection. Performing artists who recently made their mark there, include local song bird Sharon van Rooi and Diana Zilberstein who performed Cuban classics on the piano mid-November.

El Barrio is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun go down, for light entertainment, for a bite or more to eat or just to enjoy each other's company. While on the pricey side (where isn't it these days?), an outing here is worth it on a variety of levels.

Enjoy!

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