Thursday, June 25, 2009

Encasa Restaurant, Sydney

How was it?
Food: 7/10
Service: 4/10
Ambience: 7/10
Value: $$

The great thing about having my birthday on a Monday, was that I got to have a birthday feasting weekend leading up to the big day (June 15, fyi ;)! After the first stop at breakfast on Saturday morning, K and I made our way to Spain for dinner via Encasa Restaurant. We had originally planned to head down to The Rocks to watch the fire water festival, but we sadly missed that. Oh well! After many failed attempts at going to Encasa, I finally made a booking a few weeks in advance and locked myself and K in for dinner there.

We were greeted with a long queue winding out of the tiny entrance and I was surprised that the people in the queue all had reservations, but the line moved quickly and we were promptly shown to our table. From the outside, Encasa doesn't look very welcoming, but once you step inside, you will feel a warmth and a certain charm about this bustling and noisy Spanish joint. We order a couple of items from the special tapas menu and a couple from their normal menu to share.


We had planned on going on the Vivid Light Walk after dinner, but those plans failed due to the Sangria! Lol. It was strong and made me happy ;)

Toasted Bread with Tomato, Garlic & Olive Oil $4.00

I somehow thought that we were going to get something like a bruschetta, but out came this plate with two slices of toasted bread, some garlic, salt, tomatoes and olive oil. We were a little bit puzzled for a moment, and then I started to chop away and try to create something special! Didn't expect to have to work at dinner!

Patatis Bravas $8.00
Fried potato with garlic mayonnaise and spicy tomato salsa

We didn't order this dish - the patatis bravas. We actually ordered the grilled prawns dish, but that never came :( When the waiter put this down, I said to K: "We didn't order this (pause) but it smells good"... K: "Eat it".. "Ok". In case you're wondering, they did charge us for this. They must have gotten some orders mixed up. Wonder who got our grilled prawns?

Service was pretty terrible. It was so hard trying to get their attention, and once you actually had their attention and asked for something, there was never any guarantee that they would actually process your request. I.e. They mixed up orders, we ordered two dishes and didn't receive them, it took us so long to flag down the service people, AND one of the waiters knocked into me without saying anything. Hmph.

Anyway, back to the food :)

Oven baked dates stuffed with blue cheese and walnut, wrapped in Spanish jamon $12.00

Mmm.. Blue cheese & walnuts oozing out of the dates

We ordered these stuffed dates from the specials menu. This was by far the standout dish of the night for me! It could definitely induce a food orgasm ;)!! The combination of the sweet date, the creamy and rich flavours of the blue cheese and walnut stuffing, wrapped in a salty jamon - really confused my palate and threw it into a spin - but wow, what a spin! It was oh so beautiful!

Chorizo a la Plancha $9.50
Grilled Spanish sausage

The chorizo looks deceivingly small, but there were so many pieces in there, we struggled to finish it off. It was a little on the too-salty side for us, so we requested some bread. And out came these ginormous looking things..

Ginormous bread rolls

Calamares En Su Tinta $13.50
Squid cooked in it's own ink served with rice

Another item from the specials menu was the squid tapas. There was lots of oohing and ahhing at the sight of this dish. This was K's favourite, the fat and chewy squid pieces and the lite accompanying rice.

Aww... my surprise cheesecake :)

And when I went to the bathroom, K secretly organised for them to bring out a (mud) cake slice for me! It was so sweet, and I was completely shocked (and embarrassed) when the lights went off and people started singing happy birthday! lol. And even though they brought out the wrong cake, it was still super lovely :) So a huge huge thank you to K! xoxo

This Spanish eatery is very popular, so make sure you book well in advance. I know that they have vouchers in the entertainment book, so a good idea for people with the book! I thought that the dishes were either really amazing or quite mediocre. I did have very high expectations for Encasa though, which may have been a problem. Despite the poor service, it is a very fun and lively place, we stayed there for a few hours and were not pressured to leave.

Encasa Restaurant
423 Pitt St,
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9211 4257
Encasa on Urbanspoon


  1. happy birthday girl!

    shame to hear about the poor service but hope you had a good night anyway!

  2. Aww pity about the service but Happy Bday!! Can't wait to hear about the rest of the celebratory weekend :)

  3. Hehe I'm enjoying hearing about all your birthday celebrations, sounds like you had a great bday! That's a real pity about the service though.

  4. Happy (belated) birthday! I love that it "made you happy". I've never seen those specials before...! Encasa is my fave for tapas. Service is a bit hit and miss but nothing a few jugs of sanngria can't fix ;)

  5. happy birthday !!
    yeahhh, encasa is always really full =\ don't know why, although we did manage to walk in one a ...monday? night once, haha i can't remember when it was (but i have photos from it too!!)

    and i loove the patatas bravas, although one of the columbia waiters were trying to convince us to buy their beer, saying "columbian beer is th best beer there is!"
    ..we did buy a bottle, but it tasted EXACTLY THE SAME as normal beer ! haha

  6. Happy belated birthday Betty! Oh dear the service seems like a comedy of errors-a bit Fawlty Towerish but I think that's what the Sangria is for! :P As for the dates-they sound amazing!

  7. Hi Panda: Thank you! Service was terrible, but a good night was had nonetheless!

    Hi FFichiban: Thanks :) Yep, keep a lookout!

    Hi Steph: Thanks, it was so much fun! Yeah, lucky the food & sangria make up for it somewhat!

    Hi Tina: Thanks! Hehe.. true true.

    Hi Eden: Thank you! You must have been lucky that night! Errm.. that columbian waiter sounds a bit dodge?! Or perhaps, just friendly and patriotic!?

    Hi Lorraine: Thank you :) Oh yes, it was completely a comedy of errors! haha. The sangria definitely helped and omg the dates were amazing!!

  8. have you eaten at captain torres before?

    that, and el bulli would be my top spanito restaurants to eat at

    encasa i hated (even though its cheaper but still)

    but that potato thing mmmm..!!!

  9. Hi Betty: Yep, I've been to Captain Torres, it was pretty good. I haven't tried El Bulli, but it's on the list! What made you hate it? I thought some dishes were amazing, and some weren't. Haha, we didn't even order that potato thing, it was so random, but delicious :)


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