Delicious is an understatement and the pricing is right at the newest Spanish tapas instalment in Thonglor. The fresh restaurant encompasses all that makes dining venues memorable: delicious dishes, effervestcent decor, and a helpful and efficient staff. This week we visited El Tapeo and left with distended stomachs and every intention of returning very, very soon.
This Spanish eatery and wine bar is a collaborative project between Manatsanan Charoensuk, Jorge Arnanz (husband and wife), and Spanish chef Ruben Gonzalez. This dream team made sure no detail was left behind in the making of El Tapeo, and arguably the restaurant’s most memorable feature is its Spanish-inspired venue. The décor encompasses a humble calle in Madrid as opposed to a soi in Bangkok, and every aspect of its design makes diners feel as though they are anywhere but the City of Angels. Each level of the three-storey building’s flooring is adorned in colourful and vibrant tile, and the yellow walls are decorated with bright dishware from the infamous Chatuchak Weekend Market. All of the furnishings, though looking as though they were imported from Spain, were locally sourced from around the city. Head upstairs to enjoy the unique view of the bustling capital below thanks to the floor to ceiling window or pull up a stool at the welcoming bar on the first floor. A small nook on the second floor provides diners with a more intimate eating space while the first and third floor are equipped with cosy seating throughout.
The impressive menu at El Tapeo is chock full of classic small plates with Spanish heritage in each dish. Seafood lovers rejoice as the restaurant whips up tasty grilled squid paired with a savoury garlic aioli (฿150). The veg-friendly restaurant also features a number of meat-free dishes diners can chow down on including the Padron green peppers hailing from Northwestern Spain (฿150), a bowl of potato skins paired with sour cream (฿150), or the huevos rotos, meaning broken eggs (฿250) – a bowl of fried potatoes topped with fried eggs. This is one of the most popular dishes at El Tapeo’s sister restaurant in Madrid, El Rinconcito de Juan, so diners know it is going to be delicious. Many of the delectable ingredients Chef Ruben uses are imported all the way from Spain, as well. To keep with the Spanish theme, the dishes are best shared amongst your fellow diners, really encompassing a family-style dining atmosphere. Lastly, be sure to end the meal with El Tapeo’s mouthwatering coulant de chocolate al turron; a spongy lava cake sprinkled with Spanish almond nougat and served with vanilla ice cream (฿180).
Nothing quite beats a pitcher of refreshing sangria when paired with some of the best Spanish tapas in town, with red, white, and even Cava to choose from (฿220 per glass/ ฿850 per pitcher). The Spanish bar and restaurant also boasts of delicious wines hailing from Spain and a number of Spanish-inspired cocktails for those diners looking for something a bit stronger.
Top notch ingredients are paired even better with top-notch service. Dishes came out quickly, and Charoensuk and Arnanz were incredibly friendly and attentive. They provided us with ample information on the Spanish influences behind every dish, and it is obvious that both are passionate about the great (and delicious) work they do.
El Tapeo is an ideal venue for an after-work dinner or a Sunday Funday. Tapas do not get much better than those at this Spanish eatery and wine bar, and the low prices allow diners to come and enjoy themselves without worrying about blowing too much baht. El Tapeo certainly raised the bar for Bangkok’s tapas scene, and everyone should indulge in both the dishes and atmosphere at this new dining venue.
Address: 159/10 Sukhumvit 55 between Thonglor 7-9, Bangkok, Thailand
Contact: +66 2 052 0656, +66 97 045 1945, firstname.lastname@example.org