Spanish tapas at BistroSixteen82

Having returned from a week in Barcelona, Chef Kerry Kilpin from Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82, has infused her tapas menu with inspiration from her recent travels. While she was only gone for a few days, she managed to visit an incredible thirteen restaurants during her time there – all in the name of research.

As we’ve been enjoying tapas at the Bistro for years (you can view previous visits here), we couldn’t wait to dedicate an evening to sampling the new menu. You can expect hints of truffle honey and smoked paprika, as well as bolder ingredients such as chorizo and white anchovy on the new tapas menu.

We started with a bottle of our favourite Steenberg wine – their Nebbiolo. As we’d normally go for a glass each, it was telling that we chose a bottle instead – we were prepared to make our table “home” for the next few hours. And, well, let me just say that we made the right call.

Let me say from the outset, that it felt like we ate everything on the menu. Admittedly, Chef Kerry did send a few things as “extra surprises” that we didn’t order, but we do take responsibility for most of our gluttony. Luke had the smoked pork and manchego croquettes, the white anchovy with marinated peppers and quail’s egg, the chorizo and artichoke and braised pork belly.

I went for the vegetarian-friendly options, which included vegetable tempuraarancinipatatas bravas and polenta frittes with baba ganoush and curry oil. Chef Kerry also put together a vegetarian option of our favourite beef tataki, with asparagus, corn and shimeji mushrooms.

Our waitress suggested 2-3 dishes each if we were hungry (which, we were), so I don’t know how I ended up with five and Luke with four. To be fair, I did give him a taste of all my dishes, and practically had to hold him back from finishing the polenta frittes and arancini – both delicious by themselves, it was the curry oil and baba ganoush of the former, and garlic aioli of the latter that had us coming back for more. I do love it when vegetarian dishes can stand up to their meaty counterparts.

Luke enjoyed all his dishes, which came as no surprise. However, the highlights were a little unexpected – both the white anchovy dish and the chorizo and artichoke dish came out on top with him. Strong flavours, but well-balanced and oh-so-tasty.

A word of warning if you’re planning on visiting – the patatas bravas is enough for at least four people, so keep that in mind when ordering. It was the one dish we just couldn’t get through, no matter how tasty the dipping sauce was.

We couldn’t leave without dessert, although space was…ahem….limited. I went for the lightest-sounding option of lemon posset, while Luke had the banana cheesecake with peanut macaron.

The posset was silky smooth and had the perfect hit of tangy lemon. The sorbet – guava and ginger – was sweet and fragrant. Together, it really was the perfect dessert and one I’d definitely order again. Luke’s cheesecake proved to be quite a rich, heavy dessert – offset by the incredible sesame ice cream. Worth ordering it for this alone.

Note: We enjoyed our meal as guests of BistroSixteen82. All views and images are my own.

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Spanish tapas at BistroSixteen82