"Bar Gansa’s tapas are not the real thing"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
It’s easy to please a crowd with tapas, so much so that the Spanish tradition of small plates for sharing has taken off in other cuisines too. But while they might be a straightforward choice for eating out, it’s also very easy to get them wrong if little effort is spent preparing them. This seems to be the case at Bar Gansa, a venue on Camden’s Inverness Street where the food is best suited to soaking up the booze after a stint at The Good Mixer a few doors down.
Battered calamari is chewy in parts and clearly from a packet, made slightly more palatable by a dollop of aioli. Breaded whitebait tastes of little other than having been deep fried, and a gloopy tomato sauce does little for it. Patatas bravas are the most disappointing, with a watery texture from defrosting there’s nothing ‘bravo’ about them.
But it’s not all bad. Garlicky mushrooms are nice and tender, and the tumbet, a layered dish of aubergine and tomato is coated in enough melted creamy cheese for it to be successful. The croquettes with ham are tasty too, but although we suspect they were once frozen there’s little to dislike about rich béchamel and smoky ham fingers coated in breadcrumbs. However this isn’t enough to rescue the meal – even the lunchtime deal where each dish is only £3 (almost half their usual price) doesn’t make this worthwhile, particularly given that Camden’s restaurant offering has really upped its game in recent months.
Leila reviewed Bar Gansa on Wed 07 May 2014