It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘Tapas’

Samson’s Paddock – Mosman Park

Samsons Paddock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We chose Samson’s Paddock on a bit of a whim. I received an email to tell me that it was included in the Entertainment Book, and the pictures looked nice, so I booked.

It is in Glyde Street, Mosman Park – an interesting building with comfy armchairs, an upper deck and lots of nooks and crannies. We were seated on a high shared table – which I didn’t mind too much as we had booked fairly late, given the choice I prefer a regular height table.

Samson’s serve every drink that you could imagine, and also craft beers – we chose our favourite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine – and had a nice variety called Lone Goat.

The menu has tapas style sharing dishes and bigger dishes too. We went for the tapas style.

The first dish we chose was panko crumbed whiting and prawn with a daikon salad and spicy aioli dip. The prawns and fish were good quality, a nice size, and everything on the plate tasted good. The salad was nicely coated with dressing – a very nice dish to start.

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Next came wagyu rib fingers with kimchi. These were the star of the meal – beautifully spiced, boneless, rich, melt in the mouth – full of flavour and very very moreish.

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Third we had a citrus salad with oranges, radish and cucumber. It had a nice selection of different oranges, but I would have liked some more slices. Again, every leaf was coated in dressing and it was a salad that had been prepared with care.

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Next came a confit duck leg with kasundi (an Indian tomato relish), ginger and cabbage. Again, presented and prepared with care, the duck was melting and tasty and everything on the plate went well together.

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We did choose another dish, but it was so tasty that we didn’t have time to take a photo. We chose a cheeseboard with brie – it arrived with fruit bread, grapes, figs, and craisins. The brie was perfectly ripe and oozy but the bread was a little stale and I would have preferred some fresher slices.

All in all with our $34 Entertainment book discount, it was a lovely meal and we will definitely be returning.

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Flux Restaurant and Lounge, Noosaville

Flux Restaurant & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Flux is a lively tapas lounge on the main Gympie Terrace strip of Noosaville overlooking the Noosa River. We were lucky to get a table and the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The wine list was high quality and we chose a ‘Not Your Grandma’s’ Eden Valley Riesling which was bright, zesty and delicious.

All of the tapas looked really tempting, and we chose the following:

Prawn and Crab Spring Rolls with green chilli and lime dipping sauce. I thought the sauce was a little sharp, but the spring rolls were perfect.

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Blue cheese button mushrooms with parmesan and thyme breadcrumbs, which were lovely – a nice balance of salty piquant cheese with the softness of the mushroom and the crunch of the cheesy herby breadcrumbs.

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Fennel and gin cured salmon with watercress, onion, orange salad, pineapple vinegar foam, lemon oil and lavosh crackers. This was a dish where everything on the plate added to the overall sensation, a lovely fresh dish, and the pineapple foam was wonderful.

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Cajun soft shell crab with wasabi mayonnaise, pickled cabbage and herb salad. A lovely tasty, crunchy triumph of a dish – again with flavours that matched so nicely.

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We enjoyed everything so much that we ordered a fifth dish of seared scallop with creamed leek puree, crispy chorizo, toasted almonds and microherbs. This was a mixture of classic flavours – the sweet scallop, the spicy chorizo, the nice leek background flavour and the crunch of the almonds. Delicious.

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Flux is definitely a top quality venue and the prices were reasonable too. When I am back in Noosaville this will be my first choice of dinner venue. Every plate was excellent.

Pinchos – Tapas bar – Leederville

Pinchos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pinchos has taken over where ‘Snags & Son’ used to be, just off the main Leederville strip in Newcastle Street. The decor is pretty much the same as it was but the food is very different. The general theme is tapas of varying sizes and the waiter was very helpful in explaining the portion sizes to us.

Leederville

You can buy a mouthful of food for $1 or a board for $28, so you just eat as much food as you want to.

We chose the flatbreads with labne, grapes, olives and pickles. This was very nice, olives were not very meaty – just a covering of olive flesh over the small stone, but everything went together well.

Flatbread, pickle, labne, olives and grapes

Flatbread, pickle, labne, olives and grapes

We also chose patatas bravas – fairly standard really with nice mayo and spicy relish.

Patatas bravas

Patatas bravas

The spanish pate with bread was delicious and came with a nice fennel salad.

Spanish pate with bread

Spanish pate with bread

We also had mushrooms with blue cheese, PX vinegar and almond crumb – very tasty.

Mushrooms with blue cheese

Mushrooms with blue cheese

The last dish was roast pork belly with cumin and lemon which was incredibly crispy but lacked a bit of flavour.

Pork belly

Pork belly

I thoroughly enjoyed this meal and found the wait staff helpful and polite. I definitely recommend Pinchos – it’s a bit of a neighbourhood gem.

Butterworth Bar and Kitchen, Exchange Plaza, Perth

UPDATE – This restaurant is now permanently closed.

I arrived at the Butterworth with high hopes – I had seen a sample menu and liked the idea of tapas style smaller plates, larger plates and delicious desserts. It is located in Exchange Plaza, just off Esplanade in central Perth. The overall look is modern with a large bar area and tables located in a quieter darker area of the restaurant. We were seated at a lovely table by the window.

The waitress left us with two menus on the table. When I looked, one was a wine list and the other was an alcoholic beer/spirits list. Neither of us intended to drink so I asked for a non-alcoholic drinks list. I was greeted with a touch of ridicule from the waitress who said that they do not have a non-alcoholic drinks list – if I wanted a soft drink I could have the ‘usual’, or I could have a mocktail. Liking the idea of a mocktail, I asked what mocktails were available, and she responded by saying that I would have to tell her the ingredients and the bartender would make it up. This just annoyed me from the start – every restaurant is different – what is ‘the usual’ where soft drinks are concerned ? Did she mean diet coke, coke, lemonade ? Did they have juices ? Were the juices fresh or bottled ? Did they have coconut water (my current favourite) ? Did they have iced coffee, tea, milkshakes ? I enjoy seeing a choice of mocktails, so that I can choose them with the same relish that I would choose an alcoholic cocktail. Once she realised that we did not want alcohol, she took the menus away and didn’t return. Another waiter appeared a while later with food menus and we decided to stick with table water.

The main dishes on the menu were fairly traditional – two fish dishes, a steak, veal shank, lamb and duck. There were also some pasta dishes. We chose to stick to sharing plates and selected Bread with Bacon Jam,  Beef sliders, Chicken liver parfait, Chicken wings, Pork Belly with pear chutney and house salad.

Then we waited…and waited…and waited….other guests turned up and got served before us, and still no food came – the wait staff were elusive and despite a few attempts to attract their attention, they did not look in our direction. After 50 minutes I decided to get up and go and find somebody, when the food miraculously appeared – all of it – all together. Now I don’t know about you but for me one of the joys of tapas is the constant stream of little dishes that you can graze on and digest, whiling away the evening. If the dishes all turn up together then the effect is not quite the same. The waitress crammed them all on the table – “There we go – great” she said.

Okay so I was pretty fed up by this point and ravenously hungry, but the food looked nice, so I was ready to forget all the previous annoyances and tuck into a nice meal.

First I tried the Bread with Bacon Jam:

Grilled bread with Bacon Jam

Grilled bread with Bacon Jam

The bread was nice and crusty, but the jam…I didn’t get the bacon – it just tasted sweet, maybe a little oniony (if that is a word), but bacony – no. It wasn’t unpleasant but it wasn’t anything that made me go ‘wow’ either. So next I tried the pork belly:

Pork Belly Pear Chutney

Pork Belly Pear Chutney

Well it looked very nice – a good sized chunk of pork belly with crackling and chutney, however what it really needed was another hour in the oven. It was a bit tough – I am used to pork belly falling apart when you cut into it – I had to vigorously ‘saw’ this into serving pieces, and the flavour was good, but it just needed longer to cook. The crackling was nice, the chutney was quite cloyingly sweet.

Pulled beef slider, pickled cabbage

Pulled beef slider, pickled cabbage

The beef sliders weren’t bad. I kind of expected more though. If you are going to ‘chef up’ a burger it has to taste divine, and these were just average and in need of some seasoning or another element to lift them – maybe some horseradish would have done the trick.

Chicken Liver Parfait

Chicken Liver Parfait

I was really looking forward to sampling the parfait – one of my personal favourites. You can’t see it in the photo, but this came with a heap of salt on the board. I soon found out why. It wasn’t seasoned – it was bland, soft and luscious, but bland. The first time I have ever had to season my own parfait – how disappointing.

House salad

House salad

The house salad was boring. It consisted of a mixture of leaves, a thin slice of radish, a few thin slices of apple, and chick peas. It wasn’t dressed with anything and it wasn’t seasoned.

Chicken wings

Chicken wings

.Finally the highlight of the meal was the dish of chicken wings. The chilli sauce was quite hot so not something that you would smother them in unless you had asbestos lips, but the coating on the wings was tasty and I enjoyed them.

So there we are. I chose not to order dessert. Although the choices looked nice and included salted caramel mousse with peanut dacquoise, I thought that if the chef can’t dress a salad, then the desserts won’t be up to much.

We left feeling overwhelmingly disappointed. Maybe if you go there and drink lots of alcohol (as they seem to presume you shall), then perhaps you lose sight of how distinctly average the food is.

Basq – Currambine

 

Basq Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Basq is a popular restaurant with the locals. It is very close to the cinema at Currambine, so ideal for pre or post cinema dining. I came here on the recommendation of a friend, and I like the large airy floorspace, and clean design of this restaurant.

The menu has appetisers, tapas and larger plates. We decided to go for the tapas.

We chose a ‘plank’ containing cured meats, terrine, pickles and bread.  It was okay. To be honest $24 for this amount of food was a bit of a rip off, especially when the only real skill here is in the creation of the terrine, and terrines are not expensive or difficult to make (see my recipe).

Cured meat plank

Cured meat plank

We also chose Nachos with guacamole, basq chicken and spiced beans. The Nachos were lovely, and the chicken and bean sauce very tasty. Probably my favourite dish of the evening, but again, a bit overpriced at $16.

Nachos and basq chicken

Nachos and basq chicken

Next came Spanish spiced garlic prawns. Five large prawns with a tomato and garlic sauce and some crusty bread. Yes this was nice but it didn’t blow me away. It tasted like something that I have made myself at home on many occasions.

Spanish spiced garlic prawns

Spanish spiced garlic prawns

We also chose a house cured salmon dressed with a salad containing radish, citrus fruits and fennel.

House cured salmon

House cured salmon

The desserts were lovely, we chose sticky date pudding and bitter chocolate cake. The bitter chocolate cake came with salted caramel sauce, and the sticky date pudding came with a toffee sauce – both were quite large servings.

Sticky Date Pudding

Sticky Date Pudding

Bitter chocolate cake

Bitter chocolate cake

Basq serves nice food, the desserts are the pick of the menu. It was quite expensive though, for food that I thought was just ‘nice’. When I have had tapas at other restaurants, there has usually been a few standout dishes that have blown me away, but none of the above dishes did that for me. Maybe I could have chosen better dishes, but if I am eating out I want to taste flavours that surprise me and quality of ingredients that impresses me, I don’t want to pay a fortune for something that I could have made myself. Of the mains, the salmon was probably the best dish, but the others were just average, and I am not sure that I will be rushing back to Basq.

Deca Bodega – Fremantle

UPDATE – Deca Bodega is now permanently closed.

Deca Bodega Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Deca Bodega was buzzing when we arrived. Centrally located in Freo’s restaurant hub, it has tables outside and in and is busy brash and noisy. When we arrived we were allocated an outside table right on the pavement, but the waitress kindly agreed to move us to a quieter inside table. It is an interesting corner building with a spiral staircase inside. The dining tables are at street level, but the spiral staircase leads down to a lounge area which could have possibly been a purpose built bodega previously.

Deca Bodega

The menu has tapas and ‘bigger plates’, so we chose three smaller tapas plates and the ribs as our ‘bigger’ plate.

The first dish that arrived was mixed mushrooms – a lovely dish containing a variety of mushroom types with parsley and soft roasted garlic. The remaining juice was delicious and I should have ordered bread to mop it up.

Mixed Mushrooms

Then our fish tacos arrived, nice fish goujons with a slaw. I thought they were quite enjoyable but quite expensive for the amount on the plate.

Fish tacos

Next our large plate arrived – pork ribs with pomegranate sauce and a cabbage slaw accompaniment. The ribs were tender and tasty, but again, I would have liked more on my plate for $30+

Ribs with pomegranate sauce

We had to remind the waitress about our missing prawn dish, but she was very quick to remedy the situation, and we decided to order an extra dish of patatas bravas. These lovely crispy spicy potatoes were served with a chipotle and were one of the best dishes of the evening.

Patatas Bravas

The last dish to arrive was a bowl of garlic prawns. Really tasty, they were served with zucchini slices.

Garlic prawns

So Deca Bodega – what is the verdict? The food is definitely very nice and good quality, but I think that it is a little overpriced for the portion sizes. The waitresses are friendly and efficient – I can’t fault the service.

The reason I tried Deca Bodega is because I had a 50% off food offer and this made the bill very reasonable at $50. I am not sure that I would have been happy to pay $100 for the same food, especially as Freo is quite a drive for me. For diners living nearby it is a neighbourhood gem and definitely worth a try for the atmosphere and the wine selection. I also noticed some delicious looking churros being served at nearby tables – they would be worth testing.

Duende – photo diary

Here are some photos from a recent visit to Duende. I have blogged about Duende before here
Duende always delivers – highly recommended for authentic Spanish tapas.

Duende Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sloe Gin Fizz

Sloe Gin Fizz

Anchovie and tapenade

Anchovies and tapenade

Mushrooms, walnuts and gorgonzola

Mushrooms, walnuts and gorgonzola

Roast pork belly, grapes, pine nuts, pomegranate

Roast pork belly, grapes, pine nuts, pomegranate

Jamon Serrano

Jamon Serrano

More from Cantina 663

I had dinner at Cantina 663 again tonight. Here is a photo diary of the dishes I chose from the tapas menu:

Swordfish ceviche with avocado, radish, tomato, onion and parsley.

 

Ham hock terrine with char grilled bread and green bean chutney

 

Peppers stuffed with eggplant

Duck parfait with char grilled bread and caramelised onions

Bresola (salt beef) pure and simple

 

 

 

 

Tapas in Perth

Have you tried tapas ? If you are new to tapas, it consists of small dishes to share, snack size portions for when it is too early for dinner (in the mediterranean they tend to eat dinner quite late i.e. after 9pm), but too late for lunch, maybe post siesta.

The typical kinds of tapas dishes are chorizo, fried potatoes, serrano ham and bread, prawns in garlic oil etc. and they are quite easy to make at home. However, some of the tapas bars in Perth are quite cheffy and you can find some real gems amongst the typical tapas favourites.

Far and away my favourite tapas bar is Andaluz in Howard Street (between Esplanade and St George’s Terrace). If you blink, you’ll miss it, but a little courtyard takes you through to a little homely bar which quickly becomes crowded, noisy and lively. The drinks menu is very extensive and it is a popular gathering place for after-work drinks.

Andaluz Bar & Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I have had some amazing dishes here, and the menu changes regularly, but my favourites have included the chicken and duck liver parfait, which is the lightest tastiest pate you could image served with perfectly toasted thin bread; chick pea crusted prawns with avocado; kingfish ceviche; rare carpaccio of beef, mushrooms and mayo; and a ‘special’ salad with root vegetables and blue cheese.

If you like cider, Andaluz serve Napoleone cider (apple or pear) which I can highly recommend.

The only problem with Andaluz is that parking is not easy to come by and can be expensive. There is a car park at the New Esplanade hotel on Esplanade which charges $10 for as long as you like, so unless you can find a parking space, the hotel is probably your best bet.

Near to Andaluz is Greenhouse restaurant on St. George’s Terrace – I haven’t tried it yet, but they serve tapas, so I must be sure to schedule a visit.

Another fabulous tapas bar is Duende in Leederville which is open all day from breakfast through to evening. Tapas are available from noon and my favourites include mushrooms with blue cheese and walnuts; scallops with morcilla sausage and apple; amazing rabbit terrine. They also do fabulous breakfasts such as crab omelette, but I find the portion sizes on the small side.

There used to be another lovely tapas bar in North Beach called Barizzie, but looking online it appears to have closed, which is sad because it was good and fairly local.

There are various ‘tapas style’ restaurants in Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley. Beaufort Street Merchant serves food on boards such as a cheese board and a cold meats board. The menu varies with the seasons and they serve good produce. I love their garlic and chilli prawns when they are on the menu – there is nothing like dipping a fat chunk of bread into the oil that has cooked the prawns and chilli. The establishment is a cross between a bistro, a bar, a wine shop and a deli. I do find the food quite variable though and seems to depend on the chef each night as sometimes I have found it over-salted. If you pay a visit, have a look around the shop, you will find some gourmet produce in there, and they also sell the lovely Napoleone cider which you can take home.

UPDATE: Sadly, Beaufort Street Merchant has permanently closed.

Cantina 663 is not a restaurant that I have visited yet, but it has terrific reviews for breakfast, serves tapas and seems to be very authentic. Definitely on the ‘to do’ list.

Stop Press: Since writing this post, I have been to Cantina 663 click on this link for my review.

5 bar is another Beaufort street bar cross bistro and although I have not eaten there, I have had a drink there and the food going past did look very appealing.

It looks like I need to eat more tapas to add some substance to this post. Please let me have your recommendations too.

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