If you say the words ‘La Parada‘, the enormously popular Bree Street restaurant springs to mind. But in fact, it was not there that this establishment started. It was on the busy main road of Kalk Bay, overlooking the harbour, that I fell in love with this charming Spanish tapas bar and eatery.
As is the custom in Spain, when you order a drink in a bar it generally comes with a tapa – something small to nibble on and line the stomach with. Small bite meals have become universally popular, and be it Asian dim sum, Italian antipasti or Spanish tapas, it has stolen the hearts of many. Let’s admit, there’s nothing more fun than communal eating, where you can savour an array of flavours and partake in a shared experience.
Top Spanish chef Andres Condé, who hails from Pamplona in Navarra, Spain, is the mastermind behind the authentic Spanish menu at La Parada. Full of flavour and oh so moreish, the dishes include Gazpacho soup with tempura prawn and vegetable skewer (R55), black mussels in Canary Island sauce (R50), ham croquetas (R22/R55), seafood paella (R40/R80) and grilled calamares with ajili-mojili (R35/R70). You can also order traditional cured jamon or Serrano ham, which is unique and delicious (R110).
The blackboards hold the food and wine menus, and wine is enjoyed in small Spanish wine glasses to pair with the portion of complimentary tapas served with your ordered drink. Sit on the high cocktail tables or look out on the passing crowd (it’s the perfect spot to people watch). The colourful decor, mosaic tiled floor and curing ham that hangs behind the bar makes it feel like you’re suddenly in Seville or Barcelona – except this has its own true Capetonian spirit and vibrancy.