Tapas with a child-friendly twist

Popular eatery is back in Bay — and better than ever, writes Lynn Spence

More than a decade ago, most patrons who frequented the popular beachfront restaurant Tapas were in their youth with many stories to tell.

Now many of them, like me, have settled down with families of their own.

That is why the new version of Tapas, in Main Road, Walmer, has become child-friendly, incorporating a kiddies menu and a play area to boot.

It is a place where old friends are reunited and where new friendships, family gatherings, and even business relationships will blossom over drinks, good music and excellent food.

This is the vibe one gets when you visit the newly reopened and rebranded Tapas bar and restaurant.

Tapas, the newest kid on the block at the popular Bloomingdales Lifestyle Village, officially opened its doors to the public on Wednesday.

The restaurant and bar are vastly different from the Tapas at Brookes Pavilion that Gqeberha residents used to frequent back in the day, and where a whole lot of shaking and moving went on.

Co-owner Donovan Noyle said the brand and its patrons had matured since the venue shut its doors 12 years ago, and the new Tapas catered to customers of all ages.

With this in mind, I managed to drag my 12-year-old son, Tristan, away from his Xbox for lunch.

The huge smiles of the waiters (evident in their eyes because they are all wearing masks to observe Covid-19 protocols) greet you when you enter.

The inside of the restaurant and the seating area on the outside deck create a warm, relaxing atmosphere.

The menu boasts a large variety of options to satisfy every palate, such as burgers, flats, salads, steak, chicken, fish and prawns.

Nothing on the menu costs more than R200.

The range of sides include onion rings, slaw, side salads, hand-cut potato fries, zucchini fries, sweet potato fries and jalapeño fries. 

Tristan and I decided opted for the beef burger with red onion, marmalade, Havarti cheese and roasted garlic aioli, served with a generous portion of chips, and the chilli and coriander prawns.

The grilled, butterflied prawns were paired perfectly with chilli and coriander pesto, and a side salad.

Kiddo gave his burger the thumbs-up.

And it must have been great because his usual response of “it’s nice” was replaced with “that burger was very filling and delicious”.

There were zero complaints from me as I tucked into my perfectly grilled prawns that delivered on the flavour.

As more patrons started to arrive, it became clear that Tapas had shed its image as a nightclub and party venue to become a sophisticated bar and restaurant that is indeed family-friendly.

The sound of children’s laughter, little ones frolicking on the playground and cheerful adult banter echoed throughout. 

We will certainly be back.



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