I love tapas. There’s something rewarding about being able to have 4 or 5 different dishes and not feel like a pig afterwards. Last week while getting my Thai food fix at Somtum Der a tapas restaurant next door caught my eye. After a bit of research I suspected that Taburete (official Facebook page) was special. I was right. Their tapas are inventive, and delicious, and this bistro really makes you feel right at home. They’ve also got an interesting story to tell.
But first let me show you the food and what makes this a special place in Bangkok for tapas!
Taburete’s menu is a little different than other Spanish tapas restaurants in Bangkok. Their focus is on the Mediterranean-Spanish style of cuisine (the Catalonia region). For the meal we had a sampling from their menu which included 4 popular menu items, and a dish from their special menu. Along with their menu, Taburete also puts together a few special tapas dishes based on seasonal ingredients being available.
An addictive salad starter…
Their Ensalada de Tomate Semi Seco Con Cebolla (160 baht) is one of their most popular salad dishes. I can see why. It’s addictive!
Taburete makes their own semi-sundried tomatoes. They are intensely flavorful and surprisingly sweet. This is a simple dish consisting of semi-sundried tomatoes, and caramelized onions, tossed with a balsamic based dressing and fresh coriander. But this simple dish packs quite a flavor punch!
Thank you, China!
The Mollet de Pancetas de Cerdo (150 baht) is a tapas directly influenced from China’s pork belly filled bao bun. But vastly different.
For one thing, instead of a steamed bun, these buns are more like fluffy breakfast muffins. The pork belly is slow cooked for 6 hours with spices until the fat is rendered. The fat is repurposed to caramelize onions. It’s not a large tapas dish but they do give you a generous portion of pork belly filling served with rocket salad and a slice of manchego cheese. It can be shared, but no one will judge you if you don’t. Well, I won’t judge you.
As I said before, Taburete often puts together special tapas made from seasonal ingredients. This Grilled Mediterranean Sardines with Roasted Paprika and Chimichurri Sauce (200 baht) tapas is an example of what they currently offer. Fresh sardines imported direct from Spain are grilled perfectly. They’re served deboned on a bed of roasted bell peppers and topped with a tangy chimichurri sauce.
This was one of my favorite dishes. The meaty sardines have a nice crispy skin and are not overly salty. They are well complimented with the sweet red bell peppers, and the tangy vinegar from the chimichurri sauce. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t chimichurri a South American thing? Yes, but this works with delicious results. If you see this special on the board get it. Trust me.
Catalan style toast!
The Tostada de Escalivada Con Anchoa (182 baht) is a very popular tapas. This Catalan style tapas consists of a long slice of toasted bread topped with roasted aubergine, red and yellow bell peppers, onion, and an anchovy filet.
The juices from the roasted veggies seep into the crunchy toasted bread with delicious effect. The anchovy filet adds the perfect amount of saltiness with the roasted aubergine and peppers. It’s easier to remove the onion and separate the layers. If you try to cut it while it’s perched atop this dish you will launch it across the table. True story.
The Empanadilla de Cordero (180 baht) is another very popular tapas on Taburete’s menu. After your first bite you’ll understand. For me this and the sardine tapas were my favorites. Both are amazing in different ways.
Inside this flaky filo pastry you’ll find tender lamb shank confit that’s been cooked in olive oil, white wine, spices, and A LOT of brandy (which removes the lamb smell). It’s served with a red wine sauce that’s not to be wasted. We mopped it all up with the fresh bread that Taburete bakes. Even if you’re not a fan of lamb I highly recommend this dish. It’s that good.
A chat with the owner…
During our visit I had a chance to chat with Kannika, the chef and proprietor of Taburete. Her story is very interesting. She moved to Barcelona, Spain due to her husband, Josep, having to relocate there for his job. She’s always had a passion for cooking so while in Barcelona she decided to go to culinary school. She attended ESHOB (Escola Superior d’Hostaleria de Barcelona) and after finishing their program she continued her education studying pastry making at the Hofmann Culinary School.
After completing two programs specializing in Spanish cooking she worked in a catering company. From her experience in school and work she was eager to open a small tapas bar in Barcelona. However, she didn’t receive much encouragement. She was concerned that her cooking wouldn’t be taken seriously due to her Asian ethnicity. She opened a Thai fusion restaurant called Tivoli Bistro instead. But after 10 years of living in Barcelona her dream to open a Spanish tapas bar was about to come true.
Taburete – Making the dream happen…
Fast forward years later and Kannika and Josep find themselves in Bangkok again. Here they can make their dream of opening a Spanish tapas bar a reality. Taburete originally opened on Sukhumvit Soi 24 and quickly made a name for itself. Customers were attracted to the inventive menu of tasty tapas, and the homey feel of the bistro itself.
Kannika is passionate about creating tapas that’s “uncomplicated”. She has an uncanny ability to bring out the best of flavors from simple and just a few quality ingredients. She also has a knack for interior design and decoration and is gifted at making a small venue both roomy and comfortable. For these reasons Taburete was quite popular on Soi 24 as a hidden gem for Spanish tapas in Bangkok.
But due to escalating rent costs after 3 years of being on Soi 24 Taburete was relocated to its new location on Soi Saladaeng where they celebrate their 2nd year anniversary this month.
New location, still home.
Fun fact: Taburete is the Spanish word for “stool”. The name fits for this bistro as inside you’ll only find high tables and leather seated stools to sit on. There are only a few low chair options at low tables located at the deck seating area in front of the bistro.
This Spanish tapas bistro is designed with rustic touches that make you feel at home. The walls are decorated with iron skillets, kitchen themed art, and slogans that just make you feel good for being there. Though it is small dining area, the tables are spaced so that you never feel cramped, and the glass kitchen wall provides a more open feel. The traditional Spanish music playing softly in the background sets a cozy mood and seemingly transports you to a tapas bistro in Barcelona.
But it’s the kitchen and wait staff that really make you feel at home here. They are very welcoming, friendly, and provide excellent service. All of the prices listed in the this article are inclusive of VAT, but there is a 7% service charge tacked on to your bill. They earn it.
I’m hungry. Where is it?
Taburete is located on Soi Saladaeng just off of Silom Road. It’s a very short walk from the Saladaeng BTS or Silom MRT station. They get quite busy on Friday’s after the work day so make a reservation!
To see what special tapas creations they are offering currently check out their Facebook page. If you visit I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. If you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of Spanish tapas. Do you have a favorite tapas restaurant in Bangkok worth sharing?