While I love food, and will eat a fair variety, I can also be quite fussy. I’ve never really had tapas before because I’m not a seafood fan, can’t take too much spice, don’t like olives and always thought I’d be limited to only a couple of choices. But in the last year a tapas restaurant opened up in Banbury and its become a favourite for work leaving lunches.
I decided I should bite the bullet and go out for a colleague’s leaving do which was being held at Brava Tapas, and was pleasantly surprised.
With around 20 of us going, we had to pre-order. Tapas is obviously meant to be about sharing, but most of us just chose our own food. Then when we arrived, some just tried others peoples’ food once it arrived. With a large group and tapas being lots of small dishes, it meant the food was brought out at different times, so people were waiting around for theirs (1 or both dishes) while others ate. This didn’t really matter too much because the wait wasn’t too long, and everyone was chatting away. What I was impressed about was that every single meal brought out was correct. With a large group, there always seems to be one order that’s wrong or forgotten, but Brava Tapas got everything right.
The choice of food is good with plenty on the menu I fancied. There’s quite a few vegetarian dishes, as well as the usual charcuterie, seafood and other meat options. I decided on the manchego croquettas – absolutely delicious (and naughty!) melted cheese in seasoned breadcrumbs, and lambs and beef meatballs in a tomato sauce which were also divine. I wasn’t sharing mine with anyone. I had food envy at the crispy pork and frites and the salad looked really good as well. Most people ordered 2 dishes for lunch, with a few ordering a third to share, and that was perfect size for lunchtime. For evening I’d probably order a third, or maybe a salad to go alongside my other dishes.
Drinks are more limited in choice compared with some other restaurants, although there are a few beers, various soft drinks, and then red and white sangria as well as other wines.
The restaurant is really beautifully decorated. Gorgeous Mediterranean tiled floors, and a Spanish feel to it. We were there at lunchtime so it was very quiet apart from us, and a couple of people eating out on the terrace in front of the restaurant. But it didn’t feel too dead, and the staff made us feel really welcome.
For around £15 I had a delicious lunch of tapas and a large soft drink, in a lovely informal restaurant. I enjoyed it so much, I’ve booked to go there again for my birthday meals with lots of girl friends. It will be interesting to see how different it is at the weekends. I’m also thinking it could be a good place to take N, to just choose a few dishes and let him try lots of different things.
I really hope more people find Brava Tapas in Banbury and go there to keep it going. It’s nice to have a different type of restaurant in town, but it’s a little out of the way, and in a former pub building which has had about 3 different establishments there over the last couple of years.
Are you a tapas fan? Do you have plenty of restaurant options near you?
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