DOES YOUR partner want Spanish food and you fancy Greek?
19-20 Teviot Place,
(0131 220 6804, www.tapame.co.uk)
Or, your buddies insist on moussaka but you really fancy paella? Tell me about it. We’ve all been there.
Expect we haven’t, so it’s fair to say that this new Greek meets Spanish restaurant, whose name is a portmanteau of tapas and meze, probably didn’t spot a gap in the market.
Still, they’re fully entitled to mix it up a bit, especially since, according to the waitress and manager, the owner is Kurdish, and also has a Brazilian place in his Edinburgh portfolio, Zico’s (which is, incidentally, pretty rotten).
At the time of writing, there wasn’t a lot of info on this eatery online – not even, unless you have bionic retinas, a readable size of menu – so that’s all the info I could procure without freaking the staff out by going all Angela Lansbury.
It’s in the former premises of late night cafe Favorit, which was also owned by the Kurdish dude.
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Most of their small plates come in around the £3.50 to £6 mark, and our group of three chose eight options.
The problem with tapas or meze is that a third of those would usually be decent, the same ratio forgettable, and the rest duds that would be ignored until they slowly grew a film over the top, like a foodie cataract.
Not so here. Everything was of equal magnitude on the Richter scale of edibility. Apart from the smoked aubergine tapenade, which came with the selection of spreads with crusty white bread (£3.50) and was probably the best thing I’ve eaten in months. This dish’s other toppings were bright orange tirokafteri – a paste of peppers, dappled with feta – as well as the lemon, olive and garlic mixture that is pasta elias.
A portion of five salt cod fritters (£4.50) had been fried until they were wearing flaky jackets, with soft white chinchilla-y fluffyness inside, and a pot of aioli for dipping on the side.
The youvetsi (£4.70) was the fleecy tartan blanket of comfort food dishes, with pearlescent beads of orzo mixed with stewed beef and tomato.
Equally rustic and mummy-used-to-make-esque was a large cube of moussaka (£5), which resembled a slab of Christmas cake, with its thick white bechamel “icing” and an undercarriage of dark pork and beef mince and aubergine.
Three neatly origami-ed spinach and feta pies (£3.50) were as stuffed as a birthday card filled with tenners and book tokens, while mussels à la Salonika (£4.60) featured a rock pool’s worth of mussels in a punchy feta, white wine and mustard juice.
The pinchos morunos (£4.50) were probably the most forgettable offering. Still, they were OK, with chunks of pork that had been painted with a piquillo pepper sauce and threaded onto kebab skewers.
We’d ordered the coca de trampo (£3.80) for the name really, which sounded like a hobo drag queen. It was a weekday lunch in itself, with a log of baguette topped with green olive paste and roasted veg.
The portions are huge, so you could easily eat well for under a tenner per person. We over-ordered and spent approx £11.366666 each (luckily, we didn’t have to find the right shrapnel because I’m out of 0.06p coins).
The total cost doesn’t include the pudding. We’d gone for the Dessert of the Day – crema Catalana – to share, but I can’t tell you how much it is, as they forgot to deliver it, then gave it to us for free when we pointed out their error. Anyway, it was a good sugary pep, with its crunchy lid and custardy innards.
So, don’t bother waiting for That Argument, when you want Greek and some fusspot in your posse insists on Spanish.
It’s rather special here, that’s all the excuse you need.
Lunch for three, excluding drinks,