When I first read about Tapas Gastrobar, that was opening on ul. Grzybowska in Warsaw, I already knew I have to be there. I only wondered why is it opening in Hilton… I thought that it was going to be a part of the hotel and tapas have nothing in common with fancy hotels. I was wrong about that. On the other hand I was hoping to finally eat some real tapas in a cool, lively place that at least vaguely resembles a Spanish bar. Unfortunately, none of the tapas bars we have visited in Warsaw before resembled Spanish tapas bars.. So we waited for the first possibility to go there with friend and without Maks to try some tapas.
We finally made it! We got out of the taxi in pouring rain before the Hilton building and immediately noticed a bright and simple interior and the floor imitating colourful tiles popular in such places in Spain. Wooden tables and a large TAPAS and COCINA (meaning kitchen) signs. Lots of bar seats, a large standing area. We sit at the table since we plan to eat a lot – it’s going to be more comfy!
Tapas Gastrobarhas no concession yet, but you can buy wine next door and therefore we’re drinking red. Not in wine glasses but in small ones – like in Spain. I like it and I feel happily excited that I will finally find my beloved Spanish flavours and maybe even the atmosphere that resembles the vibe of the bars in Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian? Let’s try some tapas!
In places like Tapas Gastrobar you definitely SHOULDN’T order a meal just for you. You should eat from common plates, order a few or even a dozen tapas “para picar” and nibble on them with your friends. Therefore we order a whole lot of different tapas, especially with the prices being on a regular tapas level – PLN 6-20 for a portion. Only the shrimps with garlic and Jamón Iberico cost more (PLN 35), but as the staff suggests, they are also worth trying.
I order las croquetas (PLN 12), patatas bravas, potatoes with some spicy sauce (PLN 12) and las rabas de calamar (PLN 20). Łukasz adds tiny fish boquerones en vinagre (PLN 16) and shrimp fry-ups with mussels paste (PLN 14). Our friends add olives (11 zł), el pan tumaca (PLN 6), typical Catalonian toasts with shredded tomatoes and chorizo in white wine (PLN 15). They also choose las patatas y sus 6 salsas (PLN 16), French fries with six different sauces. I can hear my Spanish heart feelling a bit rebellious but whatever, let them have the French Fries! We also order el cazón adobado (PLN 16) a snack well regarded in Spain – little pieces of small marinated shark. That’s all! I give up on tortilla de patatas this time. I will surely be back for it!
Tapas look perfect and taste delicious. They serve it one after another and we can’t keep up with the tasting. Patatas bravas come with an amazing sauce, just like in Madrid. Croquetas are among the best I have ever tried. I’m in Spanish paradise! Apart from tapas, the menu includes sandwiches (bocatas) and main courses such as paella, dorada bilbaina (Bilbao style?;)) or las albondigas (meat balls). We “only” take la coca mallorquina (PLN 15 ) a meal popular in Catalonia or in Balearic islands, a bit similar to pizza. Our version includes a sausage (sobrasada), cheese and quince marmalade. It tastes good and even our friend likes it, even though she does not like meat and sausages in general.
I wouldn’t be myself If I didn’t try Chocolate con churros in such place. They have it on the dessert menu. Churros with hot chocolate still make me think about Sunday breakfasts while I was on Erasmus programme in Madrid and… about the first visit at my friend’s in Madrid who took me to the oldest Chocolateria San Gines. People say churros are too greasy and sweet and that the chocolate looks more like a cream or pudding (depending on the place) than like a drink. In Tapas Gastrobar they have a clever way of pricing the chocolate – you pay PLN 7 for the chocolate and PLN 1.5 for each churro. It’s for you to decide how much do you want to eat and you can make it a modest dessert if you want. We also tray crema catalana (PLN 12) with perfectly crispy topping but it’s the chocolate that wins. Thick, perfect, very chocolate, wow! A paradise. Not only Spanish but also chocolate].
PS. During our 2 hour visit the bar became really crowded! The vibe has the potential to resemble Spain!
PS2. What else can I say? It’s amazing! I want to come back! Like now! 🙂
ul. Grzybowska 63
tel. 22 324 57 81
tel. 22 251 13 10
Mon – Thu. 12.00 to the last customer (kitchen to 23.00)
Fri – Sat 12.00 to the last customer (kitchen to 24.00)
Sun 12.00-19.00 (kitchen to 18.00)