In Greater Vancouver, restaurants that specialize in tapas are growing both in numbers and in popularity for good reasons. Firstly, many of them are inventive and boast their own styles – from the use of ingredients to the chef’s cooking. Secondly, tapas are like dim sum, they come in smaller portions, so diners can try more different dishes while enjoying sharing them. Lastly, these small plates often come with smaller prices – so you can spend as much or as little as you like – making “Tapas” an easy, casual dining option.
Is “Tapas” the new “Dim Sum”? Let’s go out and see what all the excitement is about!
Happy Days – Metro’s Tapas
For many people, Tsawwassen – situated at the Southwest corner of the British Columbia mainland – is synonymous with the ferry terminal nearby. Because of this we often overlook the quiet township and what the restaurants have to offer there. Tonight, let’s leave the city behind and go experience some tapas in Tsawwassen. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Metro’s Tapas & Tini’s is barely a year old. The room is cosy, well-appointed and comfortable. From Monday to Friday, a selection of tapas, priced between $7 to $10, are offered during Happy Hour from 5-7pm.
Chef Pat, classically trained in French cuisine and an Asian food enthusiast, remarked that the concept of Tapas is very similar to Chinese Dim Sum especially in the smaller portion size and the custom of sharing. He told us a story about how Tapas got started: There are a lot of flies in Spain; and in order to prevent flies from falling into the wine glasses, restaurateurs started putting out small plates of food to cover the glasses.
As time went by, it developed into a special feature of Spanish cuisine. He also pointed out that while Tapas originated in Spain, Tapas in Canada are mostly “fusion” in style, combining ingredients and cooking technique from all over the world. Because of this, there is so much potential to create and improvise. That’s why he’s committed to producing new tapas dishes from time to time to keep his customers entertained.
01 Fois-Gras on Roasted
Red Pepper Polenta
Chef Pat cautions that because of fois gras is very fatty, it will melt if cooked for too long. He suggest to poach it gently then wind-dry for one week before serving. He serves the slices of foie gras over red pepper polenta with a Frangelico Demisauce.
02 Seared Sea Scallops
Scallops are often used in tapas. Chef Pat only chooses large 10-20/lb. scallops for this dish. He dips the scallops in black sesame seeds and pan-fry them until medium. They are then plated and garnished with just enough green and red chilli sauces so that the spiciness doesn’t mask the taste of the scallops.
03 Asian Duck Confit
Combining Chinese and French ingredients and techniques, fresh duck legs are marinated in five Asian spices and ginger then simmered in duck fat for 2 hours. The duck meat is served over a bed of green beans and fried yams and garnished with cross-hatched drizzles of sweet mandarin and cherry sauces. Colourful and tasty, it’s a tempting dish.
04 Dungeness Crab & Pecan Tart
Pecan is added to tart shell batter to enhance texture and taste. The filling is made with Dungeness crab meat, cream cheese, fresh cream, eggs and garlic. The accompanying house-made smoked tomato sauce and caramelized green apple slices not only lend complexity to the taste, they also earn chef extra points for the artistic plate presentation.
Metro’s Tapas & Tini’s
1203 56th St., Delta