Salamanca is a spacious restaurant that feels welcoming. The mosaics over the bar may vaguely remind you Gaudi's style and the chairs and chandeliers are a bit baroque: there is a Mediterranean feel to the place.
The menu is divided into the following categories: charcuterie & cold tapas, meat tapas, fish & shellfish tapas, meat from the grill, other tapas and desserts. The choice is extensive and includes many well-known Spanish classics, they aren't the cheapest tapas in town but portion sizes are pretty generous.
We went for the early-bird deal, which includes three tapas for €16.95.
We got 6 tapas between us, tapas are made for sharing so we made sure we both liked the sound of everything.
We got the fiery patatas bravas, these fried potatoes were lovely and crunchy on the outside and nicely fluffy inside.
Same for the croquetas de jamón (Serrano ham croquettes), they were little balls of creaminess in a crisp crumb shell.
The seafood paella was one of the nicest I've had in Dublin, they got the seasoning and consistency just right, it wasn't soggy like you get sometimes.
The fried calamaris were crispy, peppery and the batter was light.
We also had the Spanish omelette which was good too.
The battered mixed vegetables came with a homemade tomato and chili dip that was quite piquant.
We also ordered the cheese plate (€11.95) as we had some wine left (like I need an excuse to order cheese). The cheese course consisted of grapes, quince paste and 5 different cheeses. It was served with mini bread sticks that we didn't really like so we asked for bread which unfortunately wasn't great either and cost €2.50 (way too much). The manchego, the blue (Cabrales I think) and goat cheese were my favourites, overall the platter wasn't overwhelming but I'm picky in that matter.
Salamanca is one of those places in Dublin that have been here for many years and you sometimes forget because new trendy eateries catch all the attention. I'm yet to find amazing tapas in the Irish capital but Salamanca is probably one of the best places in Dublin for Spanish food. The food was simple but good and the gentleman who served us was warm and friendly. We managed to feel transported to Spain during the time of our dinner without spending too much money, which meant the evening was a success.
1 St Andrew's Street
1 St Andrew's Street