Encasa, Haymarket

It feels like I've been wanting to go to Encasa for years and years. Each time that I've walked past, a delicious smell has wafted onto Pitt St and directly towards my nose. More often than not, there are people crowded around the entrance, waiting to go in so I knew that it had to be good.

So it seemed like a small miracle that I finally made the effort and gathered two friends to come with me to Encasa.

I made a reservation for Friday night and was told that they try to do dinner reservations in two sittings. I booked for the second sitting, at 7.30pm.

As it turns out, my friends were grateful that I made the booking since the line was out the door and it seemed like all the tables inside were filled.

In true tapas style, we ordered a number of dishes to share. Because I was running about a half hour late, my friends had chosen the dishes, which I was happy with.

We started off with a jug of red wine sangria which was really good!

Jug and glasses

And then the food came out and soon we were juggling for space on our small table.

Ensalada con Queso ($14)
Lettuce,roasted redcapsicum, goat’s cheese, olives

The salad was nice and it was good to have some greens to go with the heavy food that would follow. The serving size was generous, I think the plate that it arrived on was bigger than my head.

Patatas Bravas ($9)
Fried potato w/ garlic mayonnaise and spicy tomato salsa

The potatoes were one of my favourite dishes. The garlic mayonnaise was delicious and we asked for more of it, which was provided in a small dipping dish. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. A definite winner.

Pinchos Morunos ($13.50 tapas, $23 main)
Prime lamb fillet skewers marinated in Moroccan spices

Although the photo only shows two, there were actually four lamb skewers. They were okay, the lamb wasn't too chewy but I probably wouldn't order them next time.

Pulpo a la Plancha ($13.50 for tapas, $24 for main)
Grilled fresh baby octopus

When the octopus arrived sizzling onto the table, my stomach leaped in excitement. I love the smell of grilled seafood and this smelled wonderful.

Unfortunately, it was disappointing. It was tough and hard to chew, while the tentacles had been burnt to little crisps.

Gambas al Ajillo ($13 for tapas, $24 for main)
Peeled king prawns in sizzling garlic oil and chilli

The prawns were average. Nothing more to say. They had that rubbery texture that comes from being frozen.

Vieiras en Azafrán ($13)
Scallops in the shell with saffron, shallot and cream sauce

The sauce used with these scallops were divine. I would have gladly eaten more than my allotted share.

Unfortunately I can't locate the above dish on the restaurant's online menu. It was calamari stuffed with rice. Like the beef skewers, it was okay. It looks a lot more unusual than it actually tasted.

Anyway, I'm glad that I finally went to Encasa and would definitely go back because the sangria was great and their menu has so many items to try! Plus I didn't have any stomach space to try dessert this time. As you can tell from this visit, I think the dishes can be a bit hit and miss but I've always been a risk-taker ;)

Encasa on Urbanspoon 423 Pitt St (closer to Central Station)
Tel 9211 4257


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!


  1. Nice review, I've been meaning to try out Encasa. I love tapas!

  2. Hi missklicious: Don't leave it as long as I did to try it out!

  3. Hey, how did you share the 4th scallop?

  4. Hi Jathon: One of us had an extra one.