La Taberna

La Taberna

La Taberna was the first Spanish restaurant in Aberystwyth and remains
a proper tapas bar – but is it worth paying more than at the more celebrated Ultra Comida?

Bull-fighting PostersFirst impressions were good – snug and cosy with beautiful Cordoba bull-fighting posters.
Think carefully before you whip your coat off, though, as it’s colder than the street outside.

We arrived on what they admitted was a bad night – they hadn’t wanted to open as the waitress was ill –  but they still charged full price while I worried about her coughing all over my dinner.

A number of the specials were “off”, which they should have told people on arrival rather than once they’d ordered drinks. Several customers were disappointed with one table having second thoughts and clearing off after ordering (bad form).
It was a long wait to order and even longer for food – I think we’ve ordered, eaten, paid and left in less time in Spain.

A carafe of house was surprisingly good for £12, though tricky to pour when full (would have appreciated waitress doing it).
Menu is extensive and authentic, with all of your popular tapas choices – very similar to a Spanish tapas bar in range with a rough & ready quality.

What we hadOur beef in red wine was a bit bland, the sizzling of the chorizo was the best part, and the battered chicken was saltier than the sea.

Beef croquettes were well-made although we actually ordered the cod ones. The egg/potato/garlic mix was a deconstructed tortilla since actual tortilla was also “off”.
The five tapas felt a little dry & would have benefitted from some aioli (available, but a cheeky 50p extra)
Bread is lovely – as it should be since they charge extra for that, too. No olives either – there’s no sense of them giving you a little treat whilst you wait for your food.

If the food is similar to a Spanish tapas bar, the bill is not. Most of ours were £4.40 which quickly mounts up as you need about three each. For some (beef croquettes) this felt OK but for others (50p worth of chorizo in cheapo oil) seemed an insult.

Bill At La TabernaWhich leads us to the obvious comparison.
£14 at Ultra Comida.buys you a huge mixto plato, with two glasses of wine. It’s better ingredients with no quibbling about the aioli.
Spend £30 at Ultra Comida and you’ll leave  feeling pleasantly full.
Two of us spent £35 in La Taberna & left feeling vaguely hungry. You shouldn’t leave a restaurant thinking “Was that it?”

Bethan and I first visited La Taberna a few years ago with foodie friends and we were all knocked-out. Since then, restaurants in Aber have improved whereas La Taberna has gone backwards.

Prices are higher and quality is lower than Ultra Comida with plenty of other places to eat. And you need to have the actual money in your pocket as they don’t accept credit cards.

La Taberna looks and feels like an authentic tapas bar, but that isn’t enough to justify its prices.
It doesn’t feel like a labour of love any more; it feels like they’re just going through the motions.
They need some interesting new dishes, better quality ingredients, and to put the heating on.
We’re not keen on bullfighting but hope La Taberna can gain some inspiration from their posters of toreros and take the fight to the upstarts further along Pier Street.

1 New Street  Aberystwyth, 01970 627 677

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