Tapas represents more than just small portions of food: the social aspect of eating tapas with loved ones is a philosophy in Spain. Meeting with friends to have a relaxing beer, wine or sangria and to enjoy a small bite is a way of living for most Spanish people.
The idea of tapas is to order several and share with the table, giving diners a chance to try several different selections in one sitting – resulting in a more exciting, and varied, dining experience. This style of eating has taken off in Asia in recent years: why spend half an hour deciding between your top three choices, when with tapas you can try them all!
Vaso Spanish Tapas Bar leads the charge in Thailand, elevating the standards of Spanish dining in the country with their executive chef Álvaro Ramos pulling the strings since its opening in July. The huge social media buzz that surrounds Vaso is well-justified, with their expertly-crafted food and drinks having proven to be an absolute revelation.
Executive Chef Álvaro Ramos leads Vaso’s team of masters at work
Álvaro’s fascination with cookery developed from a young age, with his grandmother’s dishes igniting a gastronomic spark within that saw him leave school in 2004 to enroll in a full time training program in cooking at the Hotel Escuele Comunidad de Madrid. He later went on to attend the prestigious Escuela Superior de Hosteleria y Turismo, an institute that specialises in the art and science of bread, cake and pastry making.
After becoming a chef, Álvaro soon to rose through the ranks of the kitchen, with his skills developing from working at many top establishments. Dos Palillos of Barcelona, a one Michelin star restaurant, and La Terraza del Casino Madrid, a two Michelin star restaurant are notable, along with El Willy Shanghai, an acclaimed and award-winning restaurant.
Álvaro likes to push boundaries with his culinary creations, merging traditional Spanish cooking techniques with methods he has been influenced by in Asia, with the aim to come up with sociable dishes, that thrill with their unpredictability. Vaso is the realisation of Chef Álvaro’s creative food ideas that have been many years in the works.
Authentic Spanish morsels which shall have you longing for more
Vaso is made up of two different areas: there is a larger space that gets supremely busy, with tapas served quickly to eager patrons, while the other smaller area is an exclusive private dining room. As you can see, the food is ultimately the star of the show here.
The ‘Vasos’ options are chef-selected tapas that come with a drink, and they are incredible: the Iberian Joselito ham and red wine offers excellent value at THB 320++. Also try the tremendous La Ostra from the ‘Crudos’ options: oysters with burrata cheese, peas and lime sauce, a superb combination priced at a reasonable 160 THB++ per piece.
Perfect for sharing, the larger ración portions satisfy any appetite
El Arroz Negro is a delectable paella consisting of fragrant rice, cuttlefish and squid ink that are wonderfully balanced: a squeeze of fresh lemon on top, which you are advised to stir in to moisten the dish, works wonders to finish off this scrumptious treat. The tasty cuttlefish is sweet with a firm flesh that becomes more creamy towards the centre: it merges perfectly with the squid ink’s earthy ocean flavour, and is well worth THB 480++.
There are some great choices on the specials board to look out for, one of which sounded appealing: the Baby Mussels came in a cream sauce that had turned a red colour from the undertones of lobster bisque that had been added to the concoction. Onion, garlic and white wine all combined well, with the subtle sweetness from the lobster working magic to balance the flavours – a steal at just THB 390++ for this level of quality.
Las Costillas proved to be a sumptuous main course, consisting of grilled Iberico lamb with chimichuri sauce – a perfect combination of flavours, with a slight saltiness coming through from the lamb and some spice from the sauce. The tender lamb was of the highest quality, melting in the mouth to deliver a taste sensation that was good value at THB 620++ considering the sizeable amount of meat.
The tapas and ración dishes at Vaso shall more than likely leave you full, with such delicious choices to plump for on their menu: if you do have room for dessert, the basque cheesecake is a winner. The fantastic service, upbeat atmosphere and charming decor all add to what is one of Bangkok’s finest international dining experiences. It really is worth all of the exposure that it has been getting.
Please visit: www.facebook.com/vasobangkok for further information on Vaso.