Sherman's Food Adventures: ¿CóMO? Taperia

¿CóMO? Taperia

Being Chinese, it has always been pretty normal that we shared food, whether it be at Dim Sum or a Chinese multi-course meal.  Of course that was not the case when we ate at most North American restaurants when I was growing up.  We'd get our own plate of food where sharing wasn't exactly practical or encouraged (however, my mom would help herself to everyone's food anyways).  Who knew it, but my mom was ahead of her time since sharing plates seem to be the trend these days.  Yet, much like Dim Sum, Spanish Tapas has always been about sharing as well as having a few bevvies to go with good company.  Unfortunately, we aren't blessed with many great tapas spots in the Lower Mainland.  So, with the opening of ¿CóMO? Taperia, I just had to check it out.

We started the meal with the Patatas Bravas and Garlic Shrimp.  Featuring the Spanish flag on top, the fried potatoes were quite good being perfectly fried.  They were as golden brown as potatoes can get where the exterior was crispy with firm crunchy bits.  They weren't oily at all where the inside retained a soft potatoey texture.  These were dusted with smoked paprika and drizzled with mildly spicy aioli.  We could've eaten a few plates of these, but there was much more on the menu to try!  Next, the garlic shrimp looked fairly simple, but was executed properly.  They were fairly large in size and exhibited the classic shrimp aroma.  I found them meaty and garlicky with a touch of smoked paprika.  This was good, but probably one of the more average dishes we had.

Talking about smoked paprika, there was a whack load of it atop the Galician Octopus.  As such, the entire dish was intensely smoky and earthy.  The generous amount of sliced octopus was on point tender with an appealing chewiness.  These were served with tender slices of fingerling potatoes which were soft enough, but also sturdy so they didn't fall apart either.  We found this dish rather salty though. Although the Huevos Roja seemed to be a simple dish, it was probably one of my favourites.  It was a bed of creamy mashed potatoes topped with a fried runny egg sauteed diced chorizo.  Beyond the tasty visuals, it was outright delicious due to the smoky and meaty chorizo oil.  That and the silky egg yolk mixed with the mashed potatoes, it created a tasty bite that went well with our bevvies.

Although the Croquetas de Jamon were fairly good, we also found them rather salty.  In fact, most of the dishes were on the saltier side.  Of course, if you ordered the appropriate beverages, this would completely balance things out.  We did order bevvies, but we all agreed that the salt content could be more conservative.  Texturally, the croquetas were crispy with a creamy centre.  Another seemingly simple, but good dish was the Meatballs with pine nuts and sauteed apples.  They were meaty and moist while seasoned mildly, unlike the rest of the dishes.  There was a natural meat flavour accented by an equal amount of umaminess.  The nuttiness of the pine nuts added aroma and the apples provided a nice tough of sweet and tang.

Now the next dish was a Spanish omelette or Tortilla.  It was filled with slices of potato and onion.  This was fluffy and thick with a fairly runny centre.  The slices of potato were tender and soft while still retaining their robust texture.  Compared to the salt-heavy dishes we had so far, this was delicate and possibly under-seasoned.  However, that didn't bother us much because it was all about the fluffiness of the egg.  I've used the word simple to describe a few of the dishes already, but the Mojama and Marconas was pretty straightforward.  Consisting of thin air-dried tuna with a marcona almond to compliment, it was as basic as it could get.  It was a pleasant little bite though with the crunch of the almond combined with the mild and delicate tuna.

Two of the relatively larger items was the Hamburguesa Con Foie and Bikini sandwich.  As the name implies, the basket contained a small burger with a side of foie mousse and a side of chips.  I thought this was pretty decent with a moist patty that was a touch salty.  Pretty good but not something I'd order again.  As for the Bikini, it was essentially a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  I would forgive this one for being salty because the ingredients were meant to be as such.  The bread was beautifully crispy while the serrano ham was its usual flavourful self.  I couldn't figure out if it was indeed manchego cheese they used or not because it wasn't particularly pungent.

Lastly, we had the Mushrooms & Sherry which were pretty textbook.  We realized that this wouldn't be mind-blowing but it was a "vegetable" for the meal.  They were buttery while not overdone while the sherry was very understated.  In general, we enjoyed the tapas at ¿CóMO? Taperia.  Mind you, there aren't many places to compare with it.  Furthermore, the style is not the same as Bodega on Main or Espana.  This would be more in line with The Sardine Can in terms of environment and menu focus.  The question is would I come back?  Sure, it was a pleasant enough experience to warrant another visit.

The Good:
- Fairly spacious for a small tapas joint
- Attentive service
- Decent eats

The Bad:
- A bit salty


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