Spanish tapas culture is reimagined with flavours from all over the Mediterranean for Merivale's vibrant new culinary offering, Bar Topa.
Opening in late July on Palings Lane, in the Ivy's dining precinct, the pint-sized tapas bar has just a handful of seats, with standing room for around 40 diners. Perching with a wine in hand and snacks to share is the way to go here, just like in Spain's tapas bars.
In the kitchen, Head Chef Lauren Murdoch is heading up a two-part, snack-heavy food offering. Displayed at the counter, you'll find small bites like whipped salted cod, or sliced jamón on crisp bread, while the tapas menu features a heftier selection of dishes hot off la plancha — the Spanish-style grill. Expect plates of sautéed chicken livers, cuttlefish cooked with parsley, garlic and olive oil, whole sardines, and of course, that classic patatas bravas.
A modern rustic fitout of terracotta and green terrazzo is authentic yet modern, and a collaboration between stylist Amanda Talbot and designer George Livissianis. There's an innovative approach to drinks, mirroring the food menu of bite-sized snacks, with most cocktails, beer and wine served as half-pours. Meaning punters have the chance to sample more of the menu.
A range of $8 half-size cocktails includes sips like the Marques — made with Pali Cortado sherry, Campari and sweet vermouth — and the La Perla, blending Altos Reposado tequila and pear liqueur. Otherwise, match those tapas with sangria from the tap, mini $4 beer or a 100-millilitre serve from the short, snappy wine list.