Why Tapas is the Ultimate Way to Eat Out

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Are you the type of person that wants to try everything on the menu? You are not alone. Restaurant menus today are so diverse, presenting a great mix of local tastes and flavours from around the world. After all, people love variety. So how do you sample all those tasty dishes at our Moonee Ponds restaurant? The answer is Tapas!

Eating tapas has been a part of Spanish culture for generations and the trend has spread through the rest of the world. You can find a tapas restaurant in almost any city, village or town, including Moonee Ponds. So how and why has tapas food become so popular? 

Firstly, let’s understand exactly what tapas food is and what tapas food is not. Tapas are not an appetiser, Being a smaller plate of food, it is similar in concept, however, an appetiser is a savoury dish meant to stimulate the appetite before a main meal. Whereas tapas can be savoury or sweet, and they make the perfect snack or main meal. The key difference is that in a tapas restaurant, food is meant for sharing.

When the Spanish would sit down to enjoy food with family and friends, it would be laid out on smaller plates for everyone to choose from. This not only gives everyone a greater selection of food, but it is also socially enhancing. And today, you get to enjoy the same experience in any tapas restaurant! 

Keep reading as we dig a little deeper into the history of this style of dining, the social aspect of tapas and enjoying it together with your friends.

How did tapas come to be

How tapas came to be part of Spanish culture is fuzzy as different stories circulated through history. The word “tapas” derives from the Latin word “tapear”, which means to cover, “tapa” means” lid”. The explanations range from bar owners using meat on plates to keep flies out to the King decreeing small amounts of food served with drinks while he recovered from illness. Whatever the true history, the world now has a new way to enjoy food. 

But it wasn’t just the Spanish who enjoyed sharing their meals. Snack-sharing has always been a part of Middle Eastern cultures that brought it to Mediterranean land with their conquests. In Mediterranean countries, especially Turkey and Greece, you will find meze, which are small portions of food equivalent to Spanish tapas.

How have tapas changed the way we eat 

When dining in a restaurant, the routine is usually an appetiser, an entree, a main and a dessert. While there is nothing wrong with ordering meals like this, it can limit your options. You can only order so much! But tapas restaurants have opened up menus and given us choice, allowing guests to share a hearty order with friends and family.

Our ability to travel made the world smaller, and helped us learn about other cultures and their foods. Nowadays, people are more open to trying new flavours. In fact, people pretty much demand it. And having tapas on a menu gives people a chance to sample new things without committing to a full meal of it. It also allows restaurants to showcase their chef’s versatility and style of cooking.

Going to a restaurant is also something social. Taking the family out for an evening, having a romantic date, or just meeting up with friends almost always involves food. And how often have you changed your mind about an order or wish you could’ve got something else instead? But in a tapas restaurant, you don’t have to limit yourself or have food envy. Tapas are all about sharing and an experience that brings people closer together. 

Why have tapas become so popular

So many cuisines from around the world have had their moment in the spotlight. From Italian to Japanese to Mexican. But the best thing about tapas food is that it’s not a particular dish or even a specific ethnic food. While they did originate in Spain, they have become a style of eating and not a specific type of cuisine, making them a great addition to restaurant menus around the world.

But there’s one big reason why tapas food is so popular today and it might not be what you’re expecting. Lots of small plates on a table means a variety of colours and textures. Tapas is Instagrammable. 

Photos of delicious looking tapas from around the world featuring on food blogs and social media started the discussions of where it’s from, how it tastes, and where to find it. Seeing  tapas just makes you want to get together with your friends and family and start sharing. 

Where to find great tapas in Melbourne

Without a doubt, one of the best tapas menus in Melbourne is here in Moonee Ponds. The sharing menu at Saros Bar & Dining offers a vibrant selection of local and international food that will have your tastebuds doing little dances. 

Keeping true to what tapas were, Saros Bar & Dining serves plates of olives or smoked almonds and maple roasted cashews, along with cheese plates and chargrilled sourdough. When combined with one of our craft beers you have the perfect bite for a social gathering.

The sharing menu also contains more sophisticated flavours from around the world, such as saganaki, Tuscan fried chicken or yellow fin tuna tartare. We also use the best locally sourced sustainable ingredients to ensure the quality and taste are out of this world. 

Pair some tapas with our famous summer cocktails or international wine selection. Not only does our restaurant have the perfect food to share with friends and loved ones, but we provide an ambient environment so everyone feels warmly welcomed.

Whichever tapas restaurant you decide to go to, make sure to sample a bit of everything. But most importantly, make sure to share, as tapas is all about sharing the food and enjoying it together with the people you love.