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British tapas and small plates recipes

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“British Tapas” – Best Small Dishes for Your Bar Menu

Shopping Basket – Create These Dishes

  • Whitebait
  • Mayonnaise (2L) – 8508
  • Capers (1.6KG) – 8323
  • Shallots – Range
  • Curley Parsley – 2100


  • Proper Scotch Egg
  • Free Range Eggs – Range
  • Chives – 2706
  • Curley Parsley – 2100
  • Grated Nutmeg – 8429
  • English Mustard (1.1KG) – 33064


  • Honey and Mustard Sausages
  • Clear Honey (1.36KG) –  8090
  • Wholegrain Mustard  (5KG) – 8534
  • Worcester Sauce – (568ml) – 8510


  • Halloumi Fries
  • Halloumi – 8058

Tapas and other small plates have erupted in popularity over the last few years, with weekends generally being the biggest source of income for pubs and restaurants for food; these budget-friendly plates can be a great little mid-week earner for the business.

Whilst tapas is traditionally associated with Spain, there’s no reason why the bitesize meals can’t be adapted to other types of cuisine, including British. So, why not ditch the nuts and crisps and make your restaurant the talk of the town with our best small dishes for bar menus.

Breaded Whitebait

Breaded whitebait is a delicious, light bar snack that will keep your customers wanting more. Perfect served with a rough cut wedge of lemon, a pot of tartar sauce and a pint.

Tartar sauce can be bought in but making your own is quick and easy, based on 1L of tartar sauce, simply combine:

  • 1L mayonnaise.
  • 200g capers, drained and chopped.
  • 3 small shallots, diced.
  • 200g parsley, finely chopped.
  • Generous squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Whitebait recipe for small plates and tapas menus

Proper Scotch Egg

What makes a ‘proper’ scotch egg? In comparison to a shop bought packet, proper scotch eggs will have a full egg with runny yolk, be surrounded by a thick layer of high quality meat and be cooked to perfection with a crispy, golden outside.

To create your proper scotch eggs (based on a batch of 18)

  1. Start by putting 18 free range eggs into a large pan of cold water and bringing to the boil. You will also need 2 eggs for beating.
  2. Boil for 3-4 minutes then transfer to cold water. Once cooled, peel them.
  3. Combine 1.6kg of good quality sausage meat with chives, parsley, grated nutmeg, mustard and salt and pepper.
  4. To create your scotch eggs, shape sausage meat into oval patty and shape around eggs.
  5. Roll in flour, coat in beaten egg and finally roll in breadcrumbs.
  6. Deep fat fry for around 4 minutes or until golden brown; serve with a pot of English mustard.

proper scotch egg recipe

Honey and Mustard Mini Pork Sausages 

For this deliciously moreish treat, you can use cocktail sausages or sliced larger sausages. These can be cooked to order or cooked in large batches. Based on a batch of 48 mini sausages or sausage slices:

  1. Preheat oven to 200c gas mark 6.
  2. Tip sausages into a large roasting tin with oil.
  3. Sausages will now be left to roast for 25 minutes, check them occasionally and toss, remove when browned and cooked through.
  4. Combine, 6 tbsp clear honey, 6 tbsp wholegrain mustard, Worcester sauce salt and pepper. You can make this in much larger batches if you plan to make more.
  5. Pour your mixture over the sausages and toss to ensure they are covered. These can then be kept in the oven at a low temp or under the hot plate.
  6. Serve with a pot of English or wholegrain mustard.

Halloumi Fries

Halloumi is an ingredient that’s always been a firm favourite in the UK. Whilst many food trends die out, this rubbery cheese from Cyprus hasn’t ever shown any sign of stopping.

If you get your halloumi fries right, they will be the talk of the town – the best part, they are super easy to make:

  1. Cut your blocks of halloumi into fries, aim to cut them thick as despite the rubbery texture it’s only a semi-hard cheese so can easily flake apart.
  2. Pat and dry your halloumi dry before shallow or deep fat frying until golden brown on all sides.
  3. Toss with salt and pepper and serve with toppings of choice.

To really get these flying out the door, go adventurous with your toppings and even let customers create their own; here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Natural yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.
  • Crispy bacon and creamy blue cheese.
  • Avocado, bacon and spring onion.
  • Sour cream and chive.
  • Chilli cheese.

Halloumi Fries Tapas and Small plates recipe

What Should We Charge for Small Plates and Bar Nibbles?

What’s profitable for your business will be dependent on many things including location, cost of produce, infrastructure costs etc.

Take a look at what restaurants and bars in the area are charging for similar dishes; if you are the only one in your area offering them you may be able to charge slightly more.

Having a deal on these dishes is a great way to get a conversation started around them, consider a 3 for £X offer, 2 for 1 Wednesdays, or a free pint when you buy 5 dishes from the nibbles menu.

Leave it with Us

Would you consider incorporating British tapas to your bar or restaurant menu? We’d love to hear your favourites.

At Arthur David, we have a huge range of fine foods and ingredients to help you create stunning dishes for your menus. Give us a call today on 0330 333 4441 or use the live chat to talk to discuss your individual requirements with one of our experts.

Whitebait recipe for small plates and tapas menus

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