Edinburgh Restaurant Awards: ‘Hidden gem’ win put Spanish-inspired Leith restaurant firmly on map

'Hidden Gem' Tapa. Pic: ''Neil Hanna Photography
'Hidden Gem' Tapa. Pic: ''Neil Hanna Photography
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Scooping the Capital’s best “hidden gem” at the Edinburgh Restaurant Award last year has put Spanish-inspired Tapa restaurant in Leith firmly on the map.

And owner Daniel Shearon said winning has had a “massive impact” on the 
business.

“This year is the tenth anniversary of the opening of the restaurant and despite being around for a considerable amount of time – in restaurant terms – because we are just tucked in behind The Shore there was still lots of people that had never heard of us or didn’t know where we were,” Daniel said. “Winning the hidden gem award, then, is not only the most apt award I think we could ever win, but, has increased our visibility immeasurably in the city.”

Daniel said, as in Spain, wandering off the beaten track can often reap benefits for hungry diners. “We fell in love with the restaurant the moment we walked in and knew that, with a little bit of love and attention, it could easily become one of those special bars and restaurants that where so evocative of our travels in Spain,” he added.

“The payoff off for that, of course, was the location. However, it’s something we’ve always embraced because if you do venture off the main drag anywhere in Spain, you’re always rewarded with bars and restaurants that are alive with locals conducting animated conversations over amazing produce and bespoke drinks. And that’s the thing I think is best about Tapa, it gives you back that vivid memory you have of Spain, even if you’re in Leith rather than Lavente.” Sponsored by City Cabs, readers can still vote for their “hidden gem” until April 12.

Votes for restaurant of the year, sponsored by Bestway Wholesale, are also gathering pace, but nominations close in just one week, before an expert judging panel will whittle down the shortlist. The finalists will be announced shortly before the award ceremony on May 13.

To nominate your favourite restaurant in one of 14 categories, visit www.edinburghrestaurantawards.co.uk.