By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
A haven in the perpetual buzz of Asoke, the recently refreshed Tapas Vino, formerly known as Tapas Y Vino, is snappier, snazzier, and has more swing than ever at the Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit.
Formerly an exemplar of fine dining, Tapas Vino has let its hair down, boasting rustic, red-bricked walls, industrial lighting, and upbeat Latin music to give you that easy, after-work vibe.
Mediterranean touches still dominate the warm and welcoming space, but the revamped furniture and table set-up have created an atmosphere that invites camaraderie and the sharing of good food. Contrasts abound: the scrolling ceiling artwork in cardinal red and gold is off set by the gleam of chrome and glass on end-to-end wine racks, and the dim ambient lighting draws your eye to the contemporary, open-plan kitchen where guests can watch the culinary magic happen before their very eyes.
The updated menu brings together a fusion of Mediterranean cuisines, where you can be whisked away to the Valencian coast, the vineyards of Tuscany, or the waters of the Adriatic Sea with every mouthful. Before you sample the flavours on offer, you’re served a complimentary plate of two-tone bread and dips. The delectable crumble of the crust hides a secret — the bread within which is as soft as a cloud. You’re served with fresh garlic that you can grate yourself, and the allium can be combined with robust olive oil and pesto to create an explosion of flavours.
If you’re in the mood for an after-work snack, try the Mushroom croquettes (B190), deep-fried creamy mushrooms coated in bread crumbs. The Avocado goat cheese (B260) bruschetta, which matched the piquancy of goat cheese with the smoothness of avocado, is another starter of choice for those who want to begin their meal with an intensity of flavours.
For heavier options, the Tiger prawns (B450) were sautéed to perfection, the garlic and chilli elevating each toothsome bite. The signature tapas sets spoil you for choice: Tapas Set 2 (B350) offered mouth-watering mouthfuls of ham croquettes, garlic prawns, and patatas bravas, the latter of which was slow-cooked for two hours to give you that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
And finally, those wishing to share a full meal should indulge in premium cuts of meat with the Grilled Wagyu rib eye (B1650), the succulence enhanced by a red wine reduction. It’s complemented by caramelised onion, peppers, and potatoes, perfectly balanced so you can eat the relish…with relish. Of course, the menu offers a variety of that quintessential Spanish favourite, paella. The aromatic Seafood paella (B950) is served fresh from the oven with the seafood in their shells, the authentic Valencian preparation. A squeeze of fresh lemon adds a touch of zest, each juicy bite a reminder of why those in the region call seafood “the fruits of the sea.”
True to their name, wine is the drink of choice in Tapas Vino with two walls and a five-page menu dedicated to regional favourites that will titillate any connoisseur. But if you’re an enthusiastic neophyte like me, don’t fear — the menu is designed with us in mind. Divided into understandable sections, you can easily hone in on a wine that is “light and fruity” or “big and bold,” sommelier not required.
For those with a nose for adventure, however, I would recommend the orange wine, distilled from white grapes with their skin and seeds still attached. The Naranjo Torentel (B1,690 per bottle) is an organic vintage straight from Castilla, Spain, with four generations of expertise coming together to create each tart sip with a honeyed aftertaste.
Not a wine lover? Try one of the curated list of craft beers, or the extensive gin menu with over 65 classic and boutique gins for that G&T pick-me-up we all need.
Level 2, Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit
30 Sukhumvit 21 Asoke Road, Bangkok, 10110
Open daily from 6pm to 11pm
Tel: 02 204 4075