Merivale has opened a new tapas bar in ivy’s thriving dining precinct on Palings Lane.
Holding just 40 standing guests, Bar Topa has been inspired by the informal, social experience of eating at a tapas bar. The food itself moves beyond Spain and is reflective of the broader Mediterranean coast, while the name is derived from ‘topar’, meaning ‘to come across’ or ‘run into’.
The menu is split into small bites and snacks (sliced jamon on crisp bread, or whipped salted cod) and a selection of tapas-style dishes cooked on ‘la plancha’, a flat metal grill (chorizo; cuttlefish with parsley, garlic and olive oil; whole sardines; patatas bravas).
Drinks are served as half-size pours, encouraging guests to taste the different cocktails, beers and wine on offer as they graze on the menu.
All priced at $8, cocktails include the Dry Martini (Vodka, Madeira, Lemon Zest), Marques (Pali Cortado Sherry, Campari, Sweet Vermouth), La Perla (Altos Reposado Tequila, Pear Liqueur, Manzanilla), Ti-Negroni (Beefeater, Campari, Sweet Vermouth) and Micro-Spritz (Aperol, Sparkling, Soda).
There’s also sangria on tap, and a couple of beers served as miniatures for only $4. A small, fun list of 12 wines, which are also served in smaller 100ml glasses, is complemented by a range of sherry – curated by ivy’s Senior Head Sommelier Jean Charles Mahe.
“Bar Topa will be the perfect pit stop for someone on the go, but who still wants to enjoy the pleasures that food and wine play in one’s day, and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere in close quarters,” says Executive Chef Jordan Toft.
“They don’t mind squeezing to the front of the line to grab a glass and pick some snacks to share with the friends they’ve just met.”
The space features rich and deep timber tones, earthy terracotta coloured walls and green terrazzo bar tops, further evoking that rustic Spanish feel.