A few friends have recently recommended me Gypsy Tapas House, describing it as "not bad food" for the price and in particular the banquet menu which gives you a wide selection of food and how after you complete the banquet meal the staff will come around asking if you are full and if you are not you will be able to order more tapas to supplement the banquet meal at no extra cost. Given the usual small serving sizes of tapas I thought that would be a good thing, so I brought a couple of friends to give Gypsy Tapas House a try.
Gypsy Tapas House has both an indoor and outdoor dining area. The outdoor area is where most people seem to opt first with a live band playing music to go along with the tapas and overall restaurant feel. The outside area also has a very strong yellow lighting (from a yellow light globe fitted to light the outside area) that leaves the area relative dark and with a very casual feel. The band can be quite loud, and as we were unfortunately allocated a seat right up close to the band made table conversation nearly impossible to hold. However, it would have been great for those who want to sit back and listen to the band whilst tasting the tapas selection.
Upon entering the service is quite friendly, though on serving the food the wait staff seem to be rushing around and only on the odd occasion announcing the dish they put down with usually one or no words (so I have tried to guess some of the right descriptions for some courses).
The food menu is a single sheet with a list of tapas all priced at $8 each. However, with the mindset of trying the banquet selection on offer, we had already pre-determined we would go for the banquet ($35/head). This meant that all the courses were pre-selected by the chef, and would be served in the pre-determined order. Though there were three of us, we were provided only one dish of each course except for two of the courses where we were provided two dishes (one meat and one vegetarian dish).
At the beginning of the meal, we were provided with olives and sundried capsicum to snack on through the meal. Dishes also came out relatively quickly, with the aim of getting all courses to you within about one and a half hours.
Hummus with Turkish Bread
This dish consisted of a large dipping saucer of hummus accompanied by Turkish bread that seemed to have been pre-drizzled with olive oil.
Grilled Chorizo Sausage
This dish consisted of sliced chorizo that had a moderate level of spiciness and was lightly grilled bringing out a level of oiliness to the dish.
Scallops with Fennel and Anchovy
This dish consisted of in-shell scallops topped with chopped fennel and anchovy.
This dish consisted of slices of nice meaty ham served with a few small gherkin like pickles on the side.
Cuttlefish with Garlic and Chilli
This dish consisted of strips of cuttlefish cooked with garlic and chilli and served with a side serving of Turkish bread. The cuttlefish actually turned out quite good with a good texture that wasn't chewy or tough, and had flavours that weren't chilli hot but made the cuttlefish quite tasty.
This dish consisted of cooked potatoes served with a bit of seasoning.
Baked Feta with Tomato and Olive
For lovers of cheese, the lightly baked fetta turned out quite well. The fetta tasted quite mild and not as salty as some fettas which to me was a good thing.
This dish consisted of chicken wings that were well marinated and cooked through but still retained the moist wing meat and skin taste.
Pea and Vegetable salad
This vegetarian dish was light and drizzled with olive oil.
Chargrilled Cut of Lamb
This dish was lightly flavoured and was cooked a bit more than to my liking but still was reasonably tender.
Lebanese Rice Salad
This dish had lightly flavoured rice but stronger tastes of Spanish onion and cherry tomato through it.
Gorgonzola with Honey
This was quite a nice dish with the gorgonzola cheese having a subtle blue vein taste and drizzled with honey that worked well with the taste. The dish was also served with a piece of turkish bread on the side.
Smoked Almonds with Rosemary
The almonds had been smoked giving them that slight smoke flavour and less crunch than raw almonds. Along with the rosemary and olive oil, this seemed like a tastier way of eating almonds.
Sangria - $26 (Jug)
The sangria was available by the glass or jug.
In summary, Gypsy Tapas House does offer a variety of tapas that vary in taste and ingredients. The banquet in particular allows you to try a selection of the tapas on offer, but if you are hungry to begin with you might not be full on the banquet alone and if the experience that I had with my two friends is anything to go by, wont be able to order any more dishes before the kitchen closes and you’ll have to look elsewhere for more food.
Points to note: There are two seatings for dinner - 6:30pm and 8:30pm. All tapas from the most simple to the meat and seafood are $8, whilst the banquet is a fixed $35. The banquet gives a varied selection of the tapas but if you are hungry this may not be enough food before the kitchen closes. The venue is licensed.
Go for: A selection of tapas in a casual environment, accompanied by live music.
Gypsy Tapas House
Shop 3/124 High Street
Fremantle WA 6160
(08) 9336 7135
Thursday to Saturday: 11am to 11pm