Food / Review

Tapas 6101

The name of this place is confusing if you’re not on your toes, for a couple of reasons.

Tapas 6101 bucks the trend of naming the venue after the street number and instead names it after the postcode instead. Yes, yes, very clever, but not ideal for the directionally challenged! It also had, despite it’s name, disappointingly little in the way of tapas.

Don’t get me wrong! The menu looked fantastic and exactly what I was in the mood for. The sign on the street saying ‘TAPAS OPEN’ had my hopes high and my mouth watering. Unfortunately, it turns out, the tapas didn’t start that Saturday until 3pm. Faced with the breakfast menu, my smile slipped. These days, I prefer to pretend breakfast as a meal doesn’t exist. I’ve had to cut egg, dairy and gluten out of my life which is heartbreaking enough on the best of days, and soul-destroying on the ones where I have to watch someone tuck into a golden stack of pancakes smothered in caramel while I give the irritated waitstaff my meticulously edited pick of the menu and drink to soothe my guilt at being A Burden.

Did I mention Tapas 6101 didn’t have a drinks list? Things were not looking good.

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We ordered $5 glasses of iced tea to try and combat the scorching temperatures outside and far from being a sad substitute, it was the best I’ve had. The sweetness was perfect without being overwhelming.

TBP – I drink a lot of tea, I suppose I must be a caffeine junkie. But this tea was excellent, not over-brewed, sweet with all the flavours of peach that taste like peach and not imitation candy. A beautiful, thoroughly refreshing, French iced tea.

TBP ordered the buttermilk pancakes with caramel, poached pear and dried fruit.

TBP – It was a surprisingly small serve, just two fluffy, but smallish pancakes. Unfortunately the pear flavour wasn’t strong enough, most of the time, to come through over the maple syrup or caramel. That said the dried fruit really did but wasn’t to my taste. Interesting flavours, and nicely cooked, but I felt the taste could have been better balanced.

R went for the classic baked eggs (which we were warned came with a 20 minute wait) and I chose the big breakfast – bacon, tomatoes, bubble and squeak, confit chorizo, mushrooms and toast (with the necessary edits). From the noise that issued from the open kitchen, I gather my meddling didn’t endear me to the chef.

When we received our food, I could see his point – without the hollandaise to pull the dish together, it was a disjointed collection of foods rattling around an over-large for the job paella pan. By the way, I didn’t sneak the rest of the tomatoes while TBP was busy photographing her breakfast, there were exactly two to start with. Everything was largely forgettable except the confit chorizo, which made it all worthwhile. It was salty, smokey and spreadable, with the rich and sticky texture of a great black pudding. If all my breakfasts could be spreadable chorizo on gluten free toast I would be a) dead and b) happy.

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The verdict: even for me, I was pretty apathetic about the the breakfast. We spent what felt like an age waiting for the food (certainly longer than the pretty reasonable sounding 20 minutes), for what were pretty simple dishes, and I felt a bit cheated by their ‘TAPAS OPEN’ sign. Sure, I’d consider going again and trying to catch their tapas menu since it’s so close to my house, but I’m not exactly gagging for it.

Luckily winter is on the horizon – soon I’ll have the perfect excuse to confit myself a chorizo in the comfort of my own home without having to publicly shame my stomach, and I’ll get to speed up the onset of my impending heart disease.

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