Sabio Tapas Bar & Restaurant

We had an hour plus to spare before a vodka tasting event at Buyan Russian restaurant., so I figured it would be a good chance to check out Sabio, a relatively new Spanish joint just a few doors down from Buyan on Duxton Hill. I think it’s fantastic how they cleaned up this formerly dodgy area and the many interesting dining/wining destinations which have sprung up.

The d├ęcor of Sabio (picture below courtesy of Sabio Tapas Bar and Restaurant) was as authentic as Spanish bars come, I felt like I was back in Madrid! Long bar counter with plenty of side ledges to put drinks/tapas plates, nice mix of local and expat crowd, a buzz in the air that was befitting of a lazy Saturday evening.

The waiter promptly came to take our drink orders once we were seated. The drink list was fairly interesting with a respectable selection of Spanish sherries and wines. I decided on a dry amontillado sherry at $18 to start the night. Hmm, they were a bit stingy with the serving, not worth the price.

The huge leg of iberico belotta jamon (made from Iberian black pigs fed on acorns) they had at the counter looked very tempting but I recently had a jamon overdose so decided not to order that. It was a bit early for a full meal so we just ordered a sausage and cheese platter to nibble on. The platter wasn’t too bad but I was a tad disappointed it was so heavy on the chorizo and there were only 4 tiny silvers of queso.

After finishing my very tiny glass of sherry, I ordered a glass of albillo from Ribera del Duero at $16. It was not as good as I would have liked it to be but at least it was a decent serving. Ndee had a glass of red sangria which he said tasted like fruit punch.

Hmm, I would re-visit this place again to give the hot tapas menu a try, simply because I really liked the ambience. But I have this nagging feeling that they need to improve the food. It was also expensive, our bill for the above came up to $100.

Ndee said the face of the matador on the wall looked like that of the owner of the bar. If you do visit the place, let me know if you agree, haha.