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Restaurant of the Month! Solera Restaurant & Bar

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Solera Restaurant and Bar opened at D Deck back in 2013, bringing a new concept and cuisine – Spanish-inspired Mediterranean – to DB. Nearly 10 years on, the restaurant has bounced back from the pandemic and is introducing a new menu this month that boasts a more extensive vegetarian selection, even more tapas options and a few new Mediterranean twists.

“We wanted to bring back that spark, because Solera is a gem,” says general manager Ellen Taylor. “You can’t really get affordable wine with a view like this elsewhere in DB. Since coming under new management in 2019, we have expanded the menu, with a lot more food options including a more kid-friendly section. We also have facilities for kids to draw in the restaurant, and a new sofa area because sometimes people want to relax here, so it’s a tiny bit more comfy and there’s more of a laidback feel.”

Undoubtedly, Solera has a relaxed Mediterranean vibe, with its beachfront location and expansive outdoor terrace. Inside, yellow walls and blue tiles cement the vibrant Spanish feel. “Solera aims to be part of the community and we believe residents want something warm and relaxing after working in the city – being DBers ourselves we know what people are looking for,” Ellen adds. “The new management wants to keep the same Spanish ethos, and that includes our set lunches with new options available every week to introduce diners to the many different styles of Spanish food.”

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The menu is authentic both in taste and ingredients with produce flown in from different regions in Spain each week. “We pride ourselves on bringing back Spanish suppliers, for instance for the suckling pig,” says Ellen. “The suckling pig is very popular with diners, it was our new chef’s idea, and there’s a distinct difference in taste between it and US-sourced suckling pig.”

There’s plenty to choose from on Solera’s menu and Ellen draws attention to the paella, a true staple of Spanish cuisine. “Obviously paella is extremely popular in our restaurant. We give diners a choice between meats and seafood; the marinara is our most photographed dish.”
Spanish cuisine is meant for sharing with friends and family, which is why tapas is such a hit, with lots of small plates on the table for everyone to sample. “Our tapas menu offers a large variety,” says Ellen. “My favourite would have to be the padron peppers because they’re a light and healthy, classic Spanish dish.”

Of the new menu Ellen says: “There are new twists but still with a Spanish taste and authenticity about the dishes. Diners now get to choose from five different types of paella – we’re bringing back the previously popular black squid ink paella, hopefully another crowd pleaser. And there are more tapas options, including grilled octopus and fried pork belly.”

Reflecting the times, the new menu also focuses on healthy eating. “The vegetarian menu has expanded, it is also good for other dietary needs which is why we focused on creating a bigger selection for the new menu,” Ellen says. “We have some vegan dishes too.

“We have taken so much pride in the look of the food and the presentation,” Ellen adds. “Our new menu includes some food art in both the á la carte desserts and in the set lunches.”

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Solera is known for its deliciously fruity sangria, and in the evening the wines come out. Much of Solera’s wine is sourced from Spain and there are regular promotions, including a Rioja Vega special for September.

Solara also provides a wine club that offers special events and food-and-wine pairing dinners for members. “The wine club wines are all at extremely favourable prices for members,” Ellen says. “It allows diners to have an extended list that is separate from the normal á la carte menu. This month, we’re introducing some high-end Spanish wines from La Rioja Alta the Ardanza – the 904 and the very rare 890.”

DBers also enjoy the music selection at Solera – the relaxed atmosphere makes the restaurant a popular venue for sundowners, rather than simply a place to eat. “There’s a pretty big vibe at Solera,” Ellen finishes. “People venture out for a meal to celebrate, and when night comes the laidback ‘coffee jazz’ turns into reggaeton. The atmosphere we create allows people to relax and enjoy time with friends and family.”

Solera is open six days a week for lunch and dinner. To make a booking, call 2555 0772. To find out more, visit the Solera Restaurant and Bar Facebook page.


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