Hestia Tapas Bar

Anyone been? Stumbled across this in the printed issue of Taiwan Fun and was wondering if it’s worth making a trip to there.

Here is the online article with details: Hestia Tapas Bar

I’ve been twice recently. I’d say it’s well worth a visit (although it doesn’t compare with the outstanding tapas being done now by talented young Spanish chef Miguel at Cosi Cosi – see separate thread on this).

Hestia is more a sit-down restaurant than a bar – in fact, I didn’t really see any seating at the bar. It’s not the kind of place to go if you are dining alone. It’s a tasteful, atmospheric room, with friendly, competent management and servers. Good place for a date. The prices are reasonable (in the same general range as Cosi O Cosi). You can get a nice well-rounded meal for two persons plus a glass or two of wine and dessert for NT$2 to 3,000, if my memory serves me correctly on the prices.

We enjoyed most of the tapas that we tried. The paella is good, and the risotto is very good. They asked us whether we wanted the risotto done “authentically” (al dente) or more softly cooked. This may be a response to past customers not being familiar with the al dente style, but if they don’t ask, I’d make a point of letting them know that you want everything done “authentically,” given that this is enough of an issue for them to have brought it up with us.

I’d recommend getting the single rather than double portions of the risotto and/or paella (even if there are two of you), so you can try a couple of extra tapas. The tortilla and croqueta were both pretty good, as was the chorizo-tomato salad. I didn’t care for the kimchi pancake (it sounded interesting, but I didn’t think the flavors really married, either in the dish or with the rest of the meal). We also had the fish and the chicken entrees, and I vaguely remember that the chicken was very good, while the fish was not bad.

We had two desserts – a baked-to-order bread dessert that looked interesting on the menu but that we found bland, and a flan that looked boring on the menu but that was delicious: the best flan I recall ever having in Taiwan. They also make delicious homemade chocolates that are in a case by the door. (I don’t remember whether these listed are on the menu, so be sure to keep them in mind for dessert or to take home.)

Thanks for that, sounds like a place to check out then. :slight_smile:

Since I wrote a fairly positive review above in this thread, I feel I need to qualify it further after eating at Hestia again last night. Once again, the service was quite attentive and good, the room is cozy, and the prices moderate, but the food was on the whole a disappointment this time. The two of us started with a fisherman’s soup and a salad with almond dressing. The soup was good though a bit bland. A heavy dose of fresh ground pepper (not offered, but immediately provided when requested) zested it up. The salad, however, was primarily iceburg lettuce in an overly sweet dressing, the sweetness of which set a tone that unfortunately dominated the rest of the meal. Following was a corn pancake with sour cream dressing. There was nothing written on the menu to indicate that this would be sweet, but in fact both the pancake and the sour cream were dessert-sweet, greatly dampening our appetites for the rest of the tapas to come. Following that was white anchovies and cherry tomotoes on toasted bread (sort of like a mini pizza). Here again, the crust was sweet, in a totally incongruous way from the toppings. Then we had “shrimp wontons in an XO sauce.” This was tasty, and the sauce was a sesame soy sauce with a mildly sweet flavor. In this case, the mild sweetness actually worked, making a nice contrast to the savory wonton, but in the context of all the other dishes being inordinately sweet, this simply added to the effect that the chef’s palate is unpleasantly skewed toward sweetness. Not what one expects or wants in a basically spanish tapas themed place. We followed this with a chicken stewed in red wine and pepper sauce. This, thank goodness, was savory. The chicken was nice and tender, and the sauce was flavorful if over-thickened. The risotto, as on our previous visit, was delicious. Overall, though, the meal was quite a disappointment. Probably won’t eat here again. I did mention to our server that I felt several of the tapas were cloyingly sweet, and she said she would convey this to the kitchen (however, we did not get any further response from her or the kitchen regarding this comment).

I tried it last night. I’m no expert on tapas, but this was tasty. I’d give it a :thumbsup:

It’s located behind where Tony Romas used to be, near the intersection of TunHua/Minshen.

It’s pronounced TAY-pass…

More like TAH-PASS… :slight_smile:

Are there many spanish cuisine restaurants in Taiwan? Just curious about it…

None that are any good, best tapas in this region of the world, greenbelt in Manila, great food, but I don’t think it’s 100% authentic either…

I’ll have to do my own when i get there, then… I’ll have to fix the sending of supplies… :stuck_out_tongue:

well, if you’re opening a restaurant, I’ll be there for sure and if the food is good, I think you have a chance to get a lot of customers.

No, it’s not in my plans to open a restaurant, but i like to eat well, i enjoy cooking, and i like to eat tapas from time to time, so i prepare my own.

My cooking should be good, all the taiwanese girls who tasted it (my girlfriend’s friends, mainly) liked it, and said i should open a restaurant when i got to taiwan. But cooking is like a hobby for me, i enjoy it, and i don’t like to be a slave, cooking 8 hours a day… I’ve kind of tried it here, and i just can’t. Maybe if i had helpers, but if i have to do all the work? No way.

I wanted to bump up this thread because I ate here earlier tonight. I recommend making reservations because it does get pretty busy. I ate there with 6 other friends, so we definitely need to reserve. The food, overall, is very good, but comes in TINY portions. Yes, I know they are tapas, but seriously, the portion is sooo tiny that no more than 2 people can share one. The portions are definitely TW-girl portion. I am from the States, and all the tapas I’ve eaten are shareable between at least 4 people - and from what I hear the tapas are a good size in Spain, too. The menu also isn’t very extensive. Lots of deep-fried stuff.

I recommend the seafood paella (get the large size, the small’s portion is the size of my palm!), Spanish tortilla - which is basically an egg-pie with spinach and mushroom, vegetable salad (also super tiny, and not shareable) and sangria. The prices are okay. I suppose for the amount you get, it can be considered as expensive. Service kinda sucks. A friend ordered the salad with sausages, the “salad” turned out to only consist of sausages and a few tomatoes. No greens. My friend asked for an exchange, and the waiter had an attitude. Oh well. I probably won’t be back since it is out of my way, and I live on a student budget. Anyone know of other tapas places that are worth checking out?

If it’s a tortilla de patatas it should be a potato based omelette which resembles a flan without the pastry.

Strange mixture of food… Italian, Cantonese, and Spanish?

Anything tapas about it?

Would like to go but only to a proper tapas bar in the Barcelona style. Anyone been to Barcelona or Madrid and can compare?

Aye. None. :wink:
Awful. All I can think of is that its changed out of all recognition since the first time rotalsnart reviewed it. Terrible. Expensive, tiny portions, either bland or sweet, just a pale imitation of anything you might have had in the 'Lona (although in its favour, it IS in Taipei, so there’s far less chance of being mugged on the way home.)