Spanish homestyle cooking- stuff to satisfy the taste buds and warm the heart.
Plus, you can get heaps of little meat dishes…
Extra mile- 3
Budget – Medium
*Scores are out of 10
Encasa: Overall rating – 31.5/50 on a medium budget
In an ideal world I would eat Tapas style all the time. Maybe I have mentioned my love for little bite sized taster dishes, maybe I haven’t, but either way it seems that the most common phrase I say to MC when sitting down to any Tapas meal is “I Love Tapas – I love little dishes of different tastes”. If I was to be a cuisine I would be Tapas – little random dishes of eclectic taste sensations – some elements being fiery, some being sweet, some being bold and some more subtle ones thrown in for good measure.
With that in mind, I was enthusiastic about our adventure to Encasa. As you know I like to peruse the menu beforehand, to build up the excitement, but upon looking at their website, I was put off. My first impression, based on their website, was that it was going to be a dodgy Spanish restaurant, in addition, Encasa is found at the South end of Pitt Street – the end that no-one ever goes to, so my enthusiasm started to wane a little. However, in the name of adventure, we put on our ‘non-judgmental-positive-attitude hats’ and set off.
Upon entry Encasa, it seems like a small, homely restaurant, but as you go down the back the entire restaurant opens up to cater for big long tables. It is busy, noisy and bustling, which when combined with the slightly dated décor contributes to this happy, homely authentic feel.
We ordered anchovies, chorizo, chicken skewers, garlic mushrooms and meatballs – the usual tapas fare. The waitress asked us if we were really hungry because that was a lot of food; I explained to her that we are eating experts, and we tend to eat loads. The portions are very generous, and we indeed had full bellies when we left.
For anyone on a ‘low-carb’ eating plan, or for someone wanting to improve their overall body composition, eating Tapas is ideal. Since most of the dishes focus predominantly on meats and vegetables, it is easy to enjoy a great dinner out, without having to compromise any eating strategies.
The food came out quick, and tasted like someone’s Mum had made all the dishes from scratch. Authentic Spanish it was; not overly complicated, just made with love and fresh produce. Encasa is also very easy on the wallet, so another great reason to go on an adventure to the south end of Pitt St, you know, if you’re in Sydney…
One thing that I didn’t understand about the restaurant was its inclusion of Pizza and Pasta – that confused this geographically challenged person, and once again led to another geography lesson from MC about the difference between Spain and Italy…
Over to you MC…
It was a short lesson. Albeit a lesson. It quickly became a conversation about where we want to go on holiday; the best food, nicest places- places NN hasn’t been (or has much of a clue where they are…).
It was tough to decide, but one thing was for sure- the kind of food you get at genuine Spanish restaurants like Encasa ensures real, wholesome food.
This wasn’t fancy, ‘hatted’ dining, this was real Spanish food.
Having spent some time in Spain and mostly loving the place, the culture, the people and the food, we spoke a fair bit about how Encasa was so similar to what you’d get when eating in spain- like when we will travel there. Hopefully.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fancy-schmancy dinner from time to time, but to get meatballs that you can see being made in the kitchen once you order- that’s fresh food and that’s real food.
I almost felt like I was Spanish and that was my mum’s cooking. It’s not too many places you can go and say that huh?
So on that, I’m going to refrain from going educational or nutritional and just throw out a challenge this week, especially to you quiet readers- the ones that read, and tell me you read when you see me, but don’t interact or comment- this is what I want to know from you this week:
- Find some quality restaurants that don’t cost an arm and a leg, which actually taste like home cooking. Good, tasty, warming, satisfying home cooking.
Let me know where they are, how it was and what you loved about it.
Something that’s often missing from food and eating these days is an appreciation for having a home cooked meal. We’re often in a rush and taking quick options, so let’s help each other make a list of ‘home-cooked’ style restaurants- the world over!
(Oh and the food was awesome- I mean I got to eat garlic mushrooms, chicken skewers, meatballs, anchovies, chorizo and drink Spanish red wine- a win-win)
I do love chorizo
MC & NN
Low cost, home style cooking, then you cannot go past ‘Athenian’ for Greek food on Barrack st in the city. Authentic, cheap, delicious and always welcoming.
I’ve been hoping to find a good Greek place, so a recommendation like this is perfect!