Casa de Tapas
In the sprawling high-rise metropolis that is Dubai, creating a credible Spanish eatery redolent of the rustic venues found in the alleyways of Barcelona or Madrid can be a hard ask, so it’s to Casa de Tapas’ credit they manage the feat with distinct aplomb.
Situated in the Dubai Creek Yacht Club and bolstered by panoramic views of the surrounding area, the new establishment has taken a refreshingly conspicuous effort to harness an authentically Spanish look and feel, from the inverted lemon tree suspended in the dark wood ceiling, right across to the ceramic mosaic tiles that line the flag-draped bar area. Even the traditional ‘turo’ head greeting you on arrival comes across as a creative -as opposed to corny – addition.
An extensive-but not overwhelming–menu of staple national dishes ranging from the archetypal Tapas options to the Catalunyan classic ‘Berejenas a la Mozarabe’ (fried eggplant) is served up by a team of homegrown Spanish chefs, who–fortunately for the diners–demonstrate significantly greater skill and creativity than their national football team recently have.
While the ‘Entrecote’ (marinated sirloin steak) main was arguably a little on the mean side, where Casa De Tapas truly comes into its own is with its paella offerings. Recognised favourites like the chicken and seafood options sit shoulder to shoulder with more eclectic choices, including the Paella de Fideua-a unique form of the dish made with angel hair pasta, with shrimp and squid ink utilised instead of rice, an option we hear isn’t available anywhere else in the city.
Football aficionados (particularly of the Spanish persuasion) will be pleased to hear that Casa de Tapas plus points extend beyond the kitchen, with multiple screens on offer to watch live matches. If your bag isn’t El Classico on a Saturday evening, fear not – this sporting addition never threatens to overwhelm what is–at its heart–a charming local spot to satisfy all those with a taste for tapas or penchant for paella.
Patatas Bravas – Fried potatoes with spicy ‘Brava’ sauce, don’t let this dish’s simplicity belie what serves as a great side.
Gambas Al Ajillo – A stalwart Spanish appetiser, many attempt it but few nail it this well. Soft, flavourful and soaked in garlic, don’t share these with your dinner partner.
Volcán De Chocolate – We suggest leaving space for this chocolate fondant, richer than Roman Abramovich and comes served with ‘Jerte’ Valley Cherry Ice Cream.