Tapas Blanco
Casual, European-inspired dining in Sakuragicho
By: Steve Trautlein | Jul 15, 2010 | Issue: 851 | No Comments | 2,905 views

Menu in: Japanese

From ¥2,000 per person (without drinks)

Non-smoking seats available daytime only

Request one of the semi-private tables to the left rear of the room

Cheap eats; lovely view

Ersatz fare will trouble purists

6F Colette Mare, 1-1-7 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama

Tel: 045-650-9377

Nearest station: Sakuragicho

Open daily 11am-11pm

Tokyo’s infatuation with tapas cuisine has grown into a full-blown love affair, so we suppose it’s inevitable that places like Tapas Blanco are starting to crop up. The creators of the flash new Colette Mare shopping center, hoping to attract a stylish young clientele to their restaurant floors, made sure to include a Spanish-style pub alongside traditional okonomiyaki and shabu-shabu joints.

Mission accomplished. Although Tapas Blanco isn’t likely to win over anyone who’s ever partied in Barcelona or Madrid, it offers an amiable venue for couples and friends to enjoy a fun meal or night out.

This is largely due to the lengthy and inexpensive wine list. A laminated menu on each table has two dozen bottles that go for as little as ¥2,800; it also offers helpful descriptions of grapes and flavor profiles. The beer and cocktail lists are nowhere near as extensive, but then, this isn’t really a beer-and-cocktail kind of place. We stuck with the cava (¥500) and moved on to sangria (¥550), which was better than we expected and had just the right hint of sweetness.

The most notable aspect of the food menu is how cheap everything is: a full range of tapas is available for ¥300-¥500. Other items, like the excellent Spanish ham platter (¥1,380), cost more, but it’s easy to fill up on small dishes of pollo de ajo, marinated sardines and vegetable fritters. We enjoyed the tortilla (¥500), though were mystified when it arrived with marinara and parmesan cheese—perhaps a nod to local tastes. Highlights of our meal included doughy zeppoline (¥500) and a meat paella with authentically spicy chorizo (¥1,380).

A full half dozen varieties of paella are available in all, including seafood (¥1,580), mushroom-cheese (¥1,450) and “Valenciana” (chickpeas and chicken; ¥1,350).

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