Discover something new every week at this Spanish-run restaurant – but once it’s gone, it’s gone
TAPEO and Wine has proved to be a welcome addition to Manchester’s top end Spanish restaurant scene since it opened in May 2016. This gorgeous Deansgate venue with its dark wood and traditional painted tiles is like a little corner of sunshine. Customers visit from morning to evening keen to either graze on a few tapas dishes, or work their way through a full paella.
If you’re in the mood for a taste of Spain and enjoy the element of seasonal surprise, visit Tapeo.
Thanks to Tapeo’s changing specials board, combined with the endemic national respect for the seasons, Tapeo’s customers can always find something new to try. The weekly ‘especials’ menu, written on the blackboard wall every week, represents the freshest seasonal ingredients and the skills of the kitchen team, to bring customers the kind of dishes served in tapas bars and neighbourhood restaurants across Spain.
We popped in one lunchtime in early spring to see what was on offer that day and to get a taste of what to expect from Tapeo’s typical daily list of specials.
To begin, a refreshing, palate-cleansing bowl of dressed baby leaves with sliced fresh apple and chopped red pepper (£6) and a gorgeous two-layered starter of salmon tartare (£8.90). The fresh, chopped raw fish had been combined with a little dill and set on top of some perfectly ripe avocado – a classic combination.
The Spanish love of egg dishes was represented by the deceptively simple asparagus pudding with piquillos sauce (£7.80); a set savoury custard, spiked with blanched stems of asparagus – a little like a quiche but without the pastry. We suspect they’d also incorporated a little Spanish cheese into the mixture, giving it a light but luxurious edge, complemented by the vibrant red pepper sauce. Edible flowers were a lovely touch helping to create a plate which represented all that is wonderful about springtime
The much heartier pork belly with honey mayo (£7.80) was a great example of all that is good about this flavoursome cut of meat. Three decent sized cubes of pork were full flavoured and tender, thanks to long, slow cooking and the self-basting effect of the natural layers of fat. The top layer was as perfectly crunchy and salty as it should be, enhanced by the slightly sweet and creamy mayo.
Two chicken brochettes (£8.60) marinated in paprika and olive oil threaded on to wooden skewers with onion and red and green peppers put us in the mood for summer barbecues to come. Grilled lamb chops with sautéed vegetables (£8.80) and crushed skin on new potatoes made an excellent spring lunch dish.
For dessert, we were after a touch of something sweet to round off our meal and found it in the traditional crema Catalana (£5.50); a rich Spanish custard with a burnt sugar crust, similar to the French crème brulee – we’ll leave it to the food historians to decifer who invented it first. It’s smooth, creamy, sweet and comforting and slipped down perfectly with a cup of Tapeo’s excellent Illy espresso coffee.
These half a dozen or so daily dishes are very popular and don’t hang around - once they’re gone, they’re gone. So if you’re in the mood for a taste of Spain and enjoy the element of seasonal surprise, visit Tapeo and Wine for a sample of something especial.
Go this week and see what specials you can delve into...