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“On a wing and prayer”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Batanga

Batanga
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Ranked #473 of 8,142 Restaurants in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Latin, Bar, Spanish, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Drinks, Brunch, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Travis
Description: Tapas (small plates) restaurant featuring dishes from various regions of Spain, South America and the Caribbean, including Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, and more. We have live Latin music Wednesday - Sunday, including Salsa, Merengue, Samba and other Brazilian styles, and Flamenco during Sunday brunch. The music is also piped outside to our 3,600 square foot bricked patio--the largest in downtown Houston--which features thick stalk bamboo and lush greenery. The historic clock tower sits right outside our patio fence. It's a cool vibe.
Houst
Level Contributor
56 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“On a wing and prayer”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

We decided to do a downtown Houston night witthout plans other than okra bar and wandered into here despite so so reviews but we thought it was awesome particularly when we asked about the ham on the kitchen counter not on the menu the chef came out and cut it for us and explained - great tapas experience, friendly and very accommodating staff we lived Sebastian!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank texowl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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170 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    53
    65
    27
    17
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
73 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Come on Batanga...I know you can do it!”
Reviewed April 12, 2013

I was very excited to try this place knowing it's ties with Loca Luna in Atlanta, which is similar to my all time U.S. based tapas restaurant, Eclipse di Luna in Atlanta (nothing can compare to those in Spain). Houston is really lacking in true, good tapas restaurants and this is located in a great little spot downtown.

The interior was lovely, similar in design to Eclipse di Luna - lots os seating and a comfy vibe. Outdoor area was lit with twinkling lights and buzzing with people. We were seated right away and our server greeted us right away. No fault to him, but he was barely of age and probably the very first waiter job he has ever had. He knew nothing about the drinks or the menu and had to ask someone else with every question we had.

We ordered two specialty drinks and our tapas. One drink was "not available" - why do you have drinks that are not available on your menu? Not a good sign. My drink was mediocre at best and certainly not what the creative menu promised in prose. I ordered a second drink - just a simple vodka and soda and it was probably the most watered down beverage I've had in a long time. Even the waiter said that the bartender was, "a [--]." Wow.

Our food selection was calamari, ribs, chicken and the potatoes. Calamari was dry and too breaded but the tomatoes were nice with it. The ribs were good, and a healthy portion to bat. Chicken was good as well and the potatoes were good (it's hard to do potatoes wrong I suppose) and the sauce was great. We ordered one more plate - the cheese rolls - a disaster - bready, dry and just disgusting. We sent it back and ordered the Tres Leches instead. Tres Leches was dry as well and the topping was bland...maybe they need my recipie.

The entire time we dined the manager was standing almost directly across from us and at no time did he come over and ask how our food was, surprising since we sent a plate back. Finally, we asked for him to come over so we could give him our feedback on the experience. He was happy to hear our suggestions and seemed accomodating, but it was a bit dishearteninng that a new place wouldn't be all over feedback from initial customers. He also didn't offer anything in terms of compensation, so that was also a negative mark.

Overall I think it could be the Little Engine that Could, but only if they step back and train their entire staff on their jobs and improve on the food somewhat. I would go back, but I'd give it a few months.

I'm on your side Batanga - hear the message!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gatorgrrl68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Pure deliciousness!”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Batanga is located downtown and has one of the best courtyards around. I haven’t been at night but I can imagine just how magical it must look with all the lights. For starters I ordered Finns revenge without alcohol, I don’t drink alcohol but the drink sounded so delicious I decided to try it minus the rum and it was very good! I ordered the Mushrooms which were so flavorful…I love mushrooms, cheese bread with guave…yum, and eggplant fries and they were all super yummy and flavorful. I topped it off with tres leches which was amazing and just because there was two of us we also went for the ganash and I loved the chocolate but not sure how I feel about it with sea salt and olive oil. The food was great, the service was wonderful…I thoroughly enjoyed the Batanga experience and will be returning very soon and very often!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ZooSalim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great dining experience at this new restaurant: food, ambiance, staff, and management”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Batanga is the new tapas restaurant in downtown Houston. I was so excited to learn about the restaurant and eagerly awaited the opening . I had very high expectations and Batanga did not disappoint. In fact, the food exceeded my expectations. Everything I had was magnificent. My dining companion and I ordered 7 different items along with a virgin Finn's Revenge and a glass of Chardonnay. Every bite was a delight. It will be difficult not to order most of the same tapas on my next visit but I am committed to experiencing other menu items. We had mussels, octopus, quail, mushrooms, eggplant, tres leches, and ganache.

My two favorite tapas which I will repeat were the mussels and the mushrooms. The mussels were plump and perfectly cooked in a delicious coconut lime sauce. The mushroom tapa was a great combination of 3 different types of mushrooms, perfectly seasoned, with a minty green sauce.

The large outdoor patio has a very nice ambiance.

The wait staff was friendly, helpful and attentive. The management visited out table to thank us for coming.

A great experience!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MAHALOGAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
92 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Batanga Restaurant”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I wish I could say I love this restaurant as the location is great, but, the food was just "ok". Several items on the menu were not available the night I was there so finally settled for a selection of Tapas. They were all edible but none of them were standouts. The bar menu seemed to be limited to the items on a special bar menu. The drinks we had were very sweet fruity concoctions. I asked for a regular mojito and was told that wasn't available, just fruit flavored mojitos as per the bar menu. Most of the patrons were seated on the patio so the waitstaff had to go through the main dining area to get to them. The waiters were literally running through the dining room to get to the patio, kudos to the waiters for effort, but kind of distracting to have someone racing by your table constantly. The waitstaff did do their best given the circumstances and fact that so many items were unavailable. Hopefully, given time, this place will improve.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sabien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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