When it comes to tapas, I am all in. That’s what I like best about traveling to Spain, eating my way through many tasty tapas. So Taberna de la Mancha had my undivided attention from the moment I heard that there was a new tapas place in town. Situated in the 8th district, the tapas bar has a small outdoor terrace right next to the tram. But on this warm summer evening only the loud wailing of the police siren, broke the peace. Everything else was just gently background noise.
We ordered rosé wine by the glass and perused the menu. Classic and new variations of tapas were available, so in the end we ordered a mix of both. Boquerones en vinagre are always a favorite, they also have the fried ones. But we wanted the acidic version and it was by far the best tapa besides the bread with the aioli. There were only three anchovies in the small bowls, lots of pickled red onions and some fried capers. The combination was delicious, the fried capers a welcome and tasty surprise. Overall despite the small portion, big on taste.
We didn’t fare as well with the artichokes in basil orange emulsion. The green sauce tasted just creamy with not enough of the basil coming through and the usual tangy artichokes came over as totally bland. Quite a waste for such a good product.
The bread was perfect, not so much for scooping up the sauce but for dipping in the aioli. We didn’t want to order it, but the waiter was right. Without the bread we would have been really unhappy.
The warm dishes unfortunately were on the same scale as the artichokes. The Pulpo a la gallega swam knee-deep in oil and none of us wanted to dip a toe in. While the octopus was soft and tender, the potatoes and veggies just soaked in the oil. Only three tiny pieces of pulpo and overall not enough taste.
The chorizo in vino tinto (spicy sausage in red vine) reminded us of Christmas. There was more than it’s fair share of cinnamon inside. The sauce a downer as well , the chorizo okay. At least the sausage had a nice spice level!
Albondigas Andaluz (meatballs in tomato sauce) fairly good but rather bland. The balls had a watery taste. Not sure if they get cooked in the tomato sauce but they definitely didn’t taste that way. Usually the meatballs are a sure winner, not so at Taberna de La Mancha.
And last but not least Brocoli con salsa de Almendras (broccoli in almond sauce). This was something new and sounded promising, also a much needed vegetable dish since we decided against the standard pimientos de padron. It was definitely not was I expected, boring broccoli lacking in seasoning with melted cheese on top and sliced almonds. I am not sure how we went from the almond sauce to the sliced ones, but here we go.
So between the three of us we had six little tapas and one portion of bread. We had asked before and were told that four to five tapas per person were deemed to do the trick. None of us wanted to risk another order though. The food was just too much of a disappointment. The rosé wine was a tad too warm but with enough ice that didn’t turn into a problem. Our one mistake was not to heed the waiter in respect to the wine. We should have ordered a bottle. Yours, Pollybert
Taberna de la Mancha
1080 Wien, Lerchenfelder Str. 60