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338 Dominion Road,
Mt Eden

(09) 630 6345

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson5/04/2009

3 out of 5 stars

And then there were three. The Tasca empire in Auckland has now expanded from the first compact eatery in Vulcan Lane to include more spacious siblings in Newmarket and Mt Eden. The Dominion Rd branch is the newest opening, and retains the Spain meets Turkey focus on the central Auckland and Newmarket operations.

Spain is certainly the overriding influence in Tasca’s interior with lots of dark wood and old black and white photographs creating a pretty good facsimile of a tapas bar in Barcelona and San Sebastian. We make a mental note to return on a winter’s night, but this time head out to the spacious alfresco courtyard out the back.

Actually ‘courtyard’ almost sells this space short. How about a mini-olive grove? Sitting under the sprawling branches it’s pretty easy to suspend belief that Dominion Rd’s frantic traffic is just metres away. With Auckland’s sky a Mediterranean cobalt blue and lots of shade, it’s one of the city’s prettiest outdoor courtyards. Right now it’s sheltered and warm, but at night big gas heaters are fired up. There are fleece blankets available if the temperature drops too quickly. Just like a restaurant in Istanbul or Athens really.

Already scoring two big ticks for the ambience, it’s time to try out the menu. After waiting a little too long that means schlepping back inside to find a waitress. Time to lose one of those ticks.

Tasca’s menu is nominally Spanish but also inlcudes side trips into Turkey and South America. Both the brunch and the lunch menus are available all day, so we share the Moorish eggs ($16.50) and the empanadas ($14.50).

The Moorish Eggs are great, combining kofta meatballs with salsa, coriander and flatleaf parsley. A mini-mountain of Turkish bread ensures we can scoop up the last of the eggs and salsa. The empanadas – think a South American version of a Cornish pastie – combine tuna, potatoes, egg and coriander with a peppery seasoning, but are let down with one of the pastry parcels being burnt on one side.

It’s a relatively minor flaw though, and with a winelist featuring Spanish varietals like Rioja and Tempranillo, and occasional live music on weekends, a return after dark visit to Tasca is definitely on the cards.

Does this review have you salivating? You can now make a reservation here!

Tasca has been reviewed by 3 users

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