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La Barca has been open since early December 2012 and is a firm favourite with the Helensburgh crowd (and beyond). With a 200k refurbishment from the previous owners, La Barca is modern,clean, functional but with twists of fun. Such as the boat shaped bar (La Barca means boat in Spanish) and the mural on the wall of the village in Crete where the owners met.
The dining area is cosy and relaxed.
Ensalada de Tomate Con Queso de Cabra
Tomato salad with goats cheese – Not a big fan of goats cheese however this one wasn’t too acidic and the tasty tomatoes helped the cheese along the way.
Pollo al Jerez
Chicken breasts pan fried in sherry – creamy and the sherry taste was still there. Moist chicken too.
Chorizo Frito al Vino
Chorizo sautéed in wine and onions – if only I was on an eat bread day as it would’ve been delicious with this sauce. The chorizo was melt-in-the-mouth.
Albondigas en Salsa Espanola
Spiced beef and pork meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. The beef and pork worked well, not a fatty bit in sight. The tomato sauce coated the meatballs making them moist.
Pinchos de Pollo
Gambas al Pil Pil
Prawns in a chilli and garlic oil – wow, I could have easily taken the spoon and eaten the oil as a soup – delish. Sizzling as it came to the table the smell…mmm…
Croquetas de Pollo y Jamon
Ham and Chicken croquettes. Moist and smooth with a crispy finish. Again, could have easily have ordered more of these.
After being worried about not getting enough to eat, we were too full to think about a dessert ( Crema Catalana, Lemon Sorbet, Cheesecake etc). So will have to go again.
Overall the service was friendly, the owners were chatty and not intrusive, food was quickly cooked and full of flavour. The decor was modern but cosy. The kind of place that works well as both somewhere for a romantic night as well as a night out with the girls (or boys). Very good selection of spirits and wines so you can easily just come in for a drink (if you can resist the smell!)
Impressed with the toilets, well lit, clean and tidy.
Take away tapas is also available @20% discount. Available Sunday – Thursday 12 noon to 9pm and Friday/Sat 12 noon to 7:30pm.
http://www.labarcahelensburgh.co.uk. Booking is recommended.