09 April 2007

Tapas in Melbourne - Movida

Hidden in a scruffy alleyway very near Melbourne's Flinders Street station is this gem of modern spanish food.
It's the sort of place you come in to, and know immediately you're going to enjoy it all. Modern but friendly decor, knowledgeable staff, a very happy buzz in the air.
We came in mid-afternoon, a little too early in the day to settle into drinking ourselves into oblivion, so we had to be restrained.
There's a good selection of sherries, although we didn't think much of the one we ordered. On later reflection, we think it was probably bottled some time ago and therefore no longer marvellous.
In terms of tapas, they have the usual olives, calamari, plates of ham and so on, but much more dainty stuff too. We had one of everything, all 9 of them. The "Cantabrian artisan anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet" was exactly as described; our picture shows, I think I remember, a "crab tartare" between two layers of Melba toast, and some gorgeous spicy shrimps. The croqueta was eely good! One small lonely piece of manchego cheese came with quince paste, but that's what happens when you order only 1 of something, I suppose.
With the exchange rate so favorable, we'd have been hard-pushed to make the bill hurt. The total was AUD 112, which seems to be about £45. In London, for tapas this good, we'd have been paying at least £112.

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