Encasa in the CBD has long been a popular place for Spanish tapas and cured meats. Over the last year, owners Maria Barona and Francisco Rodriguez have expanded, opening two more city venues including an “express” takeaway in Chifley Plaza, and this cosy restaurant in their home turf of Lane Cove. A couple of friends and I checked it out the other night, and were pleasantly surprised by the tasty, well priced food, and the added benefit of being able to BYO. The staff were also very attentive and friendly.
There’s lots to tempt on the largely meat and seafood menu, though there are not too many options for vegetarians. I’d love to see something like a ceviche or fresh fish dish added to the menu. Here’s what we tried
The jamon Iberico croquettes were delicious – crispy coating and gooey cheesey centre
Scallops with a saffron cream sauce – a tasty smooth sauce and plump fresh scallops
The tortilla de patata, a potato and onion omelette, didn’t look terribly exciting on the plate but delivered on flavour
Sizzling prawns had a delicate hit of chilli and were also enjoyable
I was looking forward to the beef cheek, and it was tender, but it didn’t pack the flavour punch of a similar dish I’ve had a few times at MoVida, and it could have used a bit more cauliflower puree.
I really wanted to try the crema catalana for dessert but clearly so did everyone else as it was sold out! Next time. I’m not big on churros as they remind me of donuts which I don’t like at all, but the girls were keen for a serve and I had a nibble – they were light and crispy.
Banquet menus are available for groups of 8 or more priced between $42 and $55, and there’s a nice range of Spanish goodies you can buy to take home. There’s a short kiddie menu too.
Encasa Lane Cove, 132 Longueville Road, ph 02 9418 8577