On a fine summer's day, there's nothing better than the offer of delicious tapas and sangria down by the beach. A catch up with friends was due and so down to Tasca Viva we headed. I've read some reviews about this place, mixed reviews, but it sounded promising and the pictures looked inviting. Situated on the beach end of Jetty Road, this restaurant is certainly inviting with a beautiful interior that transports you to another place. I found the decor impressive, with almost Moroccan style tiles that tied in together, the light blue colour scheme that reminds us we're at the beach, unique elegant lights hanging from the ceiling and the bar dining style set up which is perfect for relaxed socializing.
Service was fantastic initially with a very enthusiastic, friendly staff member who then eventually couldn't stop talking but assured us it's all table service and there's no need to go to the bar. After our initial service of menus and complimentary bread, it took a while to flag someone to place an order. Half an hour later, we captured an unlucky soul and decided to order everything at once.
The drinks list is very impressive with a great range of wines, local and imported beer, sangria, cocktails and spirits. This place is clearly designed for after-parties into the early hours. Sangria. Of course we must have sangria, no? It's compulsory! It was indeed very nice sangria when we eventually got it (after we've finished all our food). Refreshing, sweet, too easy to drink. Shame it was left on the bar for so long it had gone a bit warm.
Our complimentary bread was aromatic, warm, soft and flavourful. Artisan Bakery Sourdough Bread with Salt and Olive. Normally priced at $3.50 a serve, we decided to order a serve when we managed to rope another waiter to our table. He gave it to us on the house, how nice. The tapas menu is, in my opinion extensive enough with a good variety standard menu items and seasonal specials. Tapas typically is a smaller serve, some dishes can be ordered as 'raciones' which are larger serves, ideal for group sharing or that one dish you really enjoy.
Everybody likes chips so we ordered Patatas Fritas - Fried chips with spicy tomato paprika sauce. Not sure where the sauce is but the chips were cooked well and yes, the paprika was nice but it lacked that seasoning kick.
|Patatas Fritas $8.00|
Calamares fritos - local fried calamari with aioli. The calamari was fresh, cooked well, and seasoned well. The only negative is the batter doesn't stay on very well and perhaps the oil wasn't drained well enough either as those at the bottom got soggy.
Albondigas - Meatballs! Pork and veal meatballs with tomato sauce. It was nice but nothing to write home about.
Panceta de cerdo - Pork belly with roast apple, spinach and cider sauce. The pork belly was cooked well with meat falling apart and melting in your mouth. Pork and apple is always a good combination.
Pulpo a la barbacoa - Barbequed octopus with chorizo. The octopus was overcooked and chewy and the chorizo was burnt. Wasn't impressed.
|Clockwise from top left: Calamares fritos $10.00, Albondigas $9.00, Panceta de cerdo $10.50, Pulpo a la barbacoa $11.00|
Overall the food was okay. Service was pretty bad and unprofessional. It was hard to get any waiter's attention even though they seem to be patrolling up and down the restaurant. A couple of them seemed like they had no idea what we were talking about. I'm not entirely sure how long this place has been open but they need to iron a few creases.
18 Jetty Road
Glenelg SA 5045
08 8376 8880