In Spain, it is also said ‘En la union esta la Fuerza, which loosely translates into ‘In union, there is strength’. This is where the story of Tio Taps Y Vino starts – two friends from different families that one day decide to start a Spanish Tapas bar in Mornington together. Spaniards have been making diners happy with little bites of lots of things for a long time. The custom of eating tapas is a well known culinary tradition, and this place is no different.
It helps that one of them was already running the renowned Remy Tapas Y Vino in downtown Glenferrie Road, Malvern. The two friends we talk about here are restaurateurs Ramy Malaeb and Oscar Del Rio. Their tapas bar – Tio Tapas Y Vino – has quickly gained a loyal following for its creative food and vibe that focuses on a quality transformational Catalonian experience.
In Spain, as we have here in the Mornington, customs surrounding the eating of tapas vary significantly. Each tapas experience is profoundly different from one city to the next. Tapa literally means “a cover” or “a lid” – and this is a joint facet to many tapas origin stories. There are many stories, but the one we like says that tapas bars used to be standing-only affairs. It was known that people who ordered a snack usually put their plate on top of the glass they were drinking from because there was no other room on the bar or table.
Today it’s normal to consume an entire meal of tapas – which is referred to as tapear – and because of this popularity, the global tapas scene has evolved into a sophisticated culinary experience. Tio Tapas Y Vino is firmly entrenched in this movement, a very modern Spanish bar and restaurant with its own take on the traditional tapas, including non-Spanish ingredients. Tio Tapas Y Vino is a jewel for anyone committed to finding an excellent tapa experience. On colder days, you will enjoy the crowd inside this modern Mornington institution with aspirations of transforming you into the heart of Catalonia. On warmer days, the vibe spills out onto the outdoor area overlooking Main Street, Mornington. Fresh and simple dishes are the cornerstones of this beachside address with a very sophisticated yet easy-going feel.
Tio Tapas Y Vino has an extensive menu and drinks list with a range of foods to please a broad palette from croquettes to plates of octopus. No one has to commit to just one dish. Whether you need to meet a client who’s in a rush, or you want to share food and wine with family and friends over a few hours, this is an excellent place to consider. Most dishes are a little bigger than the standard fair, making them ideal for sharing. The restaurant bar itself is not big, but just that perfect size. We love the atmosphere; if you come out of the busy periods, you get an element of peace and quiet. As lunch service or late afternoon turns into the night, so does the volume and the fun. On the weekends, the vibe is supplemented with live acoustic music – Ole!
Main Street, Mornington has become a hot foodie district these days. Tio Tapas Y Vino fits into this groove perfectly and brings something culturally new to the region. The Peninsula’s largest suburb is more diverse and cosmopolitan than ever. It really shows in new establishments like this one – with its sophisticated and distinctly Catalan (Barcelona) feel. The restaurant attracts a loyal following with its own takes on traditional Spanish Tapas dishes, strong cocktails, and an excellent selection of wine.
Do you want more? What sets this Peninsula suburb apart from the likes of, say, inner-city Melbourne or the CBD is that the atmosphere is far more casual than you would expect. Perhaps it’s the beachside vibe and feel of Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula? Go on, get in the car and head to Mornington’s Tio Tapas Y Vino. No matter where you are in Melbourne, it’s no more than an hour trip or a few minutes from neighbouring suburbs of Mount Martha, Safety Beach, Dromana or Red Hill. We’ll see you there – Adios!