Situated on the seafront with lovely views across the Firth Of Clyde. It’s a 10-minute walk from Helensburgh Central train station. If you are driving there’s a handy car park across the road.
At first sight
La Barca’s motto is: Think Spanish, eat local, and the minute you walk inside you feel like you’re on your holidays. The interior is dominated by a colourful mural and the smell of garlic is in the air. The tables are filled with couples, friends and families tucking into delicious-looking small plates.
There is a front desk immediately as you walk in the door, manned by a friendly maitre d’ who greets us warmly before we are escorted to a clean table. We don’t have to wait long before menus appear and our drinks order is taken.
The lunch menu is divided into meat, vegetarian and seafood tapas. We took advantage of the lunchtime offer of any three for £12.95 (though most came with supplements).
We choose deep fried halloumi cheese strips with Romanesco sauce, gambas pil pil (prawns in chilli and garlic), pollo al Jerez (chicken pan fried in Spanish sherry with a touch of cream), rapa con pancetta (seared monkfish wrapped in pancetta with roast pepper, tomato and garlic, red wine vinegar and almond sauce) plus a side of garlic bread and fries.
The dishes arrive in quick succession, fresh and hot from the kitchen (no sign of reheats here). Each dish was delicious but special praise must go to the pollo al Jerez which was packed with sweet and creamy flavour. In fact we ordered another helping. The monkfish was also superbly succulent.
Watching the grey waters of the Clyde being whipped up by wind, while sipping a good wine and eating a feast, made this an unforgettable lunch.
Food and drink, including coffees, came to a reasonable £67.93.
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