Las Tapas’ Vieira Gratinada (baked scallops in cheese and tomato sauce) is pure desire in a shell
I have always been wary about tapas because the idea of dining on small plates does not sound very satisfying to me. I am a big boy and I need my meat. So when my friends suggested Las Tapas, I was already moving Carl’s Jr up to speed dial.
We secured window seating on the second level of cozy building which was lovely because Shanghai had finally decided to come out of her nasty frosty mood and allow us a nice cool evening. The only setback was the blaring traffic coming down Maoming Lu. Oh the orchestra of Shanghai.
The night began with a pitcher of Sangria (90RMB) which was perfectly balanced, not too heavy on the wine, with plenty of tiny diced fruits that provided little explosions of fruity goodness in my mouth.
After being on a delicious Sangria high, the garlic bread that came after was sadly rather sobering. The bread was a little cold with a spread that didn’t really give out that oomph. I want my garlic bread to be warm, crispy and with date-repelling amounts of garlic.
Huevos Rellenos con Atun or stuffed egg with tuna (32 RMB) was a simple presentation of four-halved egg portions topped with tuna and spices. To be honest, I was not expecting much but the moment I popped the bite sized morsel in my mouth, I had to sit back to gather myself for a second. Rich creamy tuna washed over my palette with tiny tangy spikes that prickled my taste buds with delight. The egg and tuna mixture slid down my throat and left a craving in its wake causing me to eye the remaining solitary piece with renewed intent.
The next few dishes came out in such quick succession that I did not have time to take note of all of them but the one that stood out the most was the baked scallops in cheese and tomato sauce or Vieira Gratinada ( 45 RMB). Decked out in a half shell, the succulent meat was wrapped with cheese and dripped with just the right about of sauce causing my tongue to repetitively stab the scallop in an attempt to devour it quickly.
As we emptied the plates, their porcelain bodies strewn on the table like casualties of war, I found myself drifting into a food coma reeling from wine, cheese and tapas goodness. Sorry Carl, tonight you sleep alone.
207-4 Maoming Nan Lu