Encasa – Tapas not Tapa

Yay tapas! Long time consumer, first time blogger. It goes to show how infrequently I eat it – having it only 3 times or so ever since I started blogging. I’d have it more, except that it’s best with a group, and I’ve somehow been relegated to this whole “one on one” dining status. How in the world did that happen I wonder…

In any case, Encasa, to put it shortly is one of the best tapas restaurants you can find in Sydney. A true Spanish stalwart, Encasa will do you little wrong, and so much right.

Date Visited: 21/12/2012
Address: 423 Pitt St Sydney, NSW 2000
Go-to dish: with tapas, it’s really up to you (Y)


Indeed, it is approaching Christmas!

It was not particularly easy getting a booking at Encasa on a Friday night, especially what with Christmas season approaching. Nevertheless, le friend and I managed to snag a table for two tucked away against a wall.

Don’t be fazed by the innocuous shop front – Encasa has quite a large back area and I’m pretty sure the entire restaurant is easily capable of seating up to a hundred people with the right arrangement. With that said – make bookings. You’re not going to get a table otherwise.

Encasa interior

Absolutely packed

As I was dining with just one other friend, the selection of dishes ordered is unfortunately not extraordinarily varied. Oh well, I’ve had most of the other stuff on the menu from other visits, so it’s a cue for you to go 8D

Encasa Chorizo a la Plancha - grilled spanish sausage

Chorizo a la Plancha – grilled spanish sausage – $10.5

Firm Spanish sausage lightly grilled. Seasoning? Why bother – the sausage is its own seasoning.

  • Super appreciate how Encasa didn’t go overboard with over-flavouring the chorizo, especially as I prefer to eat it without any carb side
  • Great texture, a real delight to bite and chew through each piece – the grilling, just right

A bold start to the meal, and quite possibly one I would always go for.

Encasa chorizo

Meaty perfection

Encasa Gambas al Ajillo - Peeled king prawns in sizzling garlic oil and chilli

Gambas al Ajillo – Peeled king prawns in sizzling garlic oil and chilli – $13.5

Garlic prawns – following the chorizo, it’s like I’m ordering all the most well-known tapas dishes. But hey, they’re well known for a reason. Who can resist juicy prawns, cooked in garlic-infused oil and spiced up with chillis? It’s heaven.

  • What, thought I was going to go into the details? No need – it’s heaven

You have to be OK with this kind of oil though, otherwise you’re not going to enjoy this dish so much.

Encasa king prawns

Oily seafood goodness

Encasa garlic king prawns

Encasa deep fried zucchini

Deep fried zucchini – price unknown

Oddly enough, I can’t find the zucchini anywhere on Encasa’s online menu, so could not provide pricing, but they sure do have it (maybe as a special or something). Zucchini is kind of boring, to be honest, but I hadn’t eaten it in awhile, so may as well enjoy a deep-fried version of it.

  • It starts to get thick (in the oily way) quite quickly, so liberal sharing is definitely recommended
  • The zucchini itself as you’d imagine, tastes just like that – slightly sweet and soft throughout, unlike the cold crunch of cucumber. The batter gives the flavour, which should be accompanied by the provided pesto

A great dish to be had if you’re a vegetarian.

Encasa deep fried zucchini

There’s also a zucchini flower in there, I believe

Encasa deep fried zucchini


Encasa Pimiento de Padrón - fried Spanish peppers

Pimiento de Padrón – fried Spanish peppers – price unknown

Oddly enough, this is another dish that can’t be found on the menu, so it’s likely a special of some sort. I was recommended these green frying peppers by the waiter (I definitely would have skipped over them otherwise), but I sort of regret my decision to be honest

  • They’re crispy on the outside, soft and slightly fibrously chewy on the inside. Flavours are decent – primarily natural sweetness from the peppers themselves, contrasted with a salty finish on top
  • Only issue is that they get boring pretty much after the first three or so. The texture kept me interested, but by about halfway I was really just eating them to clear the plate

No fault of the dish itself, just not to my taste that’s all. Perhaps sauces could help?

P.S. these peppers are ridiculously healthy to eat (if you discount the frying). Their nutritional content is incredible. Just saying.

Encasa pimiento de Padrón peppers


Encasa Ibiza Chicken Pizza - Sun Dried Tomato, Onion & Olives

Ibiza Chicken Pizza – Sun Dried Tomato, Onion & Olives – $15.5 (small)

To round off the savoury stuff for tonight, we fill up on a small Ibiza chicken pizza.

  • The base is medium-thick, which is about right for this kind of pizza. There’s enough toppings to flavour the base as you chew
  • You wouldn’t expect the base to have the same crunch as Naplesstyle Pizza, and instead is a very full doughy texture which is quite bready, but very enjoyable and “fulfilling”
  • Toppings are great, everything was cooked very well. I personally always go by my mantra of “more chicken needed”, but there’s enough there to be good

Encasa has quite the variety of pizzas for a Spanish restaurant, and I encourage you to try as many of them as you can!

Encasa chicken pizza

Encasa chicken pizza

Encasa Deconstructed raspberry & vanilla parfait dessert

Deconstructed raspberry & créme parfait – price unknown

I have not seen any other review or blog on Encasa that actually covers its dessert offering, not sure why that is – their desserts are something to speak of.

What is it with these dishes that aren’t on the menu…I forgot what this was actually called, nor do I know the price. It has a standard parfait look, and tastes to match

  • There’s a strong raspberry & vanilla presence, which is quite aromatic and works really well to sell this dish aurally
  • Texture-wise, there’s the obvious creaminess, and then there’s the crumble on top which I believe is pistachio
  • As for taste, quite sweet, with a surprisingly tangy kick afterwards

Quite an enjoyable dessert!

Encasa dessert

Yay crumble!

Tapas. Om nom nom. Perhaps I should host a birthday here. That’ll give the variety I crave (Y)

As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀

The Good: tapas of great quality and reasonable prices. Friendly and attentive staff

What could be improved: some flavours are just too boring and standard

I give  a grand total of eight and a half Caesars out of ten – 8.5/10

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9 comments on “Encasa – Tapas not Tapa”

  1. JD Reply

    Had a great night here last night, the service was great, we had BBQ squid, a touch salty, still loved it. Chorizo, great, guys had medium pizzas, great. And girls had a seafood in fresh tomato sauce, huge dish, they loved it. Would go back again no problem – JD

  2. notquitenigel Reply

    I thought Encasa was a bit overrated to be honest. I wanted a little more bang for my buck, I remember one dish I ordered was $14 for 4 tiny skewers of beef. Everything was really greasy too 🙁

    • Michael Shen @ imstillhungry.net Reply

      With the variety Encasa has, I guess it’s not surprising that there’s going to be some dishes that aren’t up to par.

      Agreed with you on the greasiness comment though – it’s why I don’t have tapas often, but I still like it 🙂

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