Capilla, Scrabster – A NC500 taste of tapas


Word spreads quickly in these parts about new restaurant openings, especially ones that offer something a wee bit different to the usual pub grub offering. My local is the fabulous Whaligoe Steps Cafe but further up along the north coast of Caithness, housed in an old chapel (hence the name Capilla), is a new tapas bar, looking right out onto the Scrabster harbour. We went along on a sunny day and we were really impressed with what we found, especially since Capilla had only been open a couple of weeks!

We braved the unpredictable scottish elements to sit outside – although we had nothing to fear as the sea-mist was clearing well to reveal a wonderfully sunny and dare-i-say it – even HOT day. We were able to watch people going about their daily business, see the Hamnavoe depart Scrabster for Stromness on Orkney, and even caught sight of a seal bobbing around in the harbour.

We ordered our drinks and considered our menu choices. Having just opened soft drinks were of a limited choice (Coke, diet coke, sprite) so Capilla are waiting to see the demand for other items. I’d have liked to see some San Pellegrino cans to vary the fizz-drinkers choice, but Capilla are definitely supporting local distillers Rock Rose Gin which I was happy to see. Also on the menu were jugs of Sangria.

Not having had breakfast, we were in the mood to order a good selection of tapas, but before they arrived we received complimentary bread and olives.

The dishes were brought out as they were being cooked, a nice way of grazing on our choices.

Absolutely perfectly cooked calamari, with the lightest crumbs of batter. Definitely the best we’ve had in the UK.

Albondigas –  spicy meatballs in a tomato sauce. Very, very good.

If you didn’t order patatas bravas, are you even eating tapas? Chunks of crisp spud, criss-crossed with spicy and creamy sauces, and coriander.

Huge garlic prawns, in a tomato sauce.

Maybe the only disappointing dish – but only because we were comparing these salt cod croquettes to the real deal we had in Lisbon – they were well cooked, but were lacking on the salt cod.

The last of the terracotta dishes to arrive at the table was the sweet pimento peppers, stuffed with paella and cheese. A spicy way to end a good meal!

On balance, we really enjoyed our meal at Capilla, it was good value especially with the quality of the calamari and prawns which were our stand-out dishes. There was a friendly atmosphere, the interior is well done with lots of rustic wood and the menu is written on the wall which is a quirky touch. It’s completely different to our next nearest tapas restaurant over 100 miles away in Inverness, so whenever we need a traditional tapas fix, we’ll be heading to Capilla!

You can find Capilla here, at Old Chapel, Scrabster, KW14 7UJ. Booking is highly advised as they are enjoying early success with locals and tourists alike!

This is not a sponsored review – A Highland Blend is committed to sharing the best of local businesses and found Capilla too much of a gem not to share!