Tapas-1 wants you to dine with friends
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Angel Pu
273-1, GongYi Rd, Sec 2, Nantun Dist.
Excellent cuisine, like so many of life's great things, is best enjoyed in the company of others. To encourage just that, Tapas-One, one of the city's premier Spanish dining establishments, has been promoting four-to-eight person group sets that provide great value to anyone willing to share lunch or dinner with friends.
Chef/owner Justine Li, Tapas-One head chef Frederic Hung and the staff have created what Li describes as a modern-style tapas bar now chic in places like New York and San Francisco, offering authentic and modern appetizers, main entrees and other dishes. Currently, Tapas-One offers three four-person set meals for NT$3,196, NT$4,800 and NT$5,120; NT$4,794 and NT$7,200 six-person sets; and NT$6,392 and NT$9,600 eight-person sets. These keep prices between NT$799 and NT$1,200 per person (excluding service charge).
Left: Delectable Pintxos appetizers
Medium: Paella Seafood
Right: Octopus with Wasabi and Tripe Stew with
My four-person group tried the NT$4,800 set, which started with four delightful Pintxos appetizers--very traditional Jamon Iberico ham with organic figs on little pieces of toast; fusion-style Thai red curry-flavored chicken meatballs; big, slightly-spicy green olives; and a good example of Spanish-pioneered "molecular cuisine"--gelatin bubbles filled with guava, dragon fruit and mango flavors.
The delectable progression that followed included White Escargot in Herbs Butter; a savory Paella Seafood, slightly moister than traditional styles; Tripe Stew in Red Wine; little beef-filled Empanada Spanish fried dumplings; a giant octopus leg served with a wasabi potato sauce now popular in Spain; Pan-Fried Mussels in Garlic; the famed "Gambas al Ajillo" shrimp with chilis and garlic in hot olive oil (wonderful with bread); and slightly chocolate-flavored Oxtail Stew with Red Wine and Mashed Potatoes.
Left: Gambas al Ajillo
Right: Rib-eye Segovia Style
Then came the main entree, a juicy 400-gram (13 oz.) Rib-eye Segovia Style, served with truffle salt. The perfect ending was a dessert platter of Creme Brulee, Cinnamon Cheesecake, and Churros served with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit, plus coffee and tea. The meal was also enjoyed with a 750ml Champagne-style bottle of slightly honey-flavored, Barcelona-brewed Estrella Damm Inedit Belgian White Beer (NT$580). Soup may also be replaced with alcoholic or "virgin" Sangria in the sets.
Left: Estrella Damm Inedit Beer
Right: Chefs Justine Li and
And the total value of the above meal, if we had ordered a la carte? NT$5,400. Dining with friends suddenly sounds all the better!