Upstairs at Jack’s, Market Place, Devizes, SN10 1JG.
(01380) 728 939
Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao or Malaga may spring to mind when thinking about tapas but there’s no need to travel far for a tasty Spanish treat these days.
Upstairs at Jack’s, at 40 Market Place, Devizes, offers its own take on serving up tapas and very successful it is too.
Jack Spratts is a sandwich and coffee bar by day, becoming Upstairs at Jack’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Booking is a good idea as the cosy area with cool high ceiling and views onto the Market Place, once used for antique sales, can fill up quickly and seeing ‘fully booked’ signs in the Market Place had already proved encouraging.
Since tapas are meant for sharing, four of us took the plunge, choosing a tasty bread and olive oil (£1.50) plus delicious black and green olives (£2.50) while looking over the menu.
The menu advises choosing two or three dishes each but, with everything looking promising the difficulty was in what to leave out of the order.
With a bottle of La Paz white wine (£15.50) going down well with two of the party, and bottles of Bath Gem (£3.30) and Fentiman’s ginger beer (£1.90) with the others, it wasn’t long before the food arrived.
A slice of tortilla (£3) was the most obviously Spanish dish we had, along with gambas pil pil (£4.50) – prawns cooked in garlic and parsley butter – and chorizo cooked in a red wine sauce (£4).
The polenta crisps served with parmesan cubes and garlic dip (£3) and deep-fried camembert with onion chutney (£3) showed that the chef is prepared to look beyond the obvious choices.
All were demolished with gusto, as were the garlic mushrooms (£3), grilled halloumi and peppers (£3.50) and lamb skewers, ginger and chilli providing extra interest to that dish.
In the end it was the gambas which proved the star dish.
After the first two dishes we went for one more portion, along with some patatas bravas (£3), which could have had spicier tomato sauce, just to be sure they were that good!
Delicious baked cheesecake (£4.95) rounded the evening off, along with another round of drinks, and there’s little doubt that we will be back.