Posted by & filed under 2010, Best of Sydney.

The smart kids know to book ahead at Encasa, and to turn up with an empty stomach. This is Spanish food served up quickly with minimum fuss. The staff are speedy in re-filling the carafes of sangria, and there’s a constant hum of background noise from a room full of diners sharing tapas and digging into paella. The toughest aspect of eating at Encasa is deciding between classic tapas dishes like chorizo a la plancha and patatas bravas, or something from the daily specials board. It’s a problem that the smart kids know how to avoid. The secret is, the more friends you bring, the more tapas dishes the table can share. (Sarah Neill)

423 Pitt St, Sydney. 9211 4257, encasarestaurant.com.au