The tapas here and the accompanying drinks list were superb. The wine list was extensive, covering Spanish and Australian wines, the beer selection was more that passable, and the list of Spanish sherries seemed comprehensive - however I am no expert on this last one.
We selected a couple of freshly shucked Tasmanian oysters to start with. What can I say - they were oysters presented simply with some lemon - but they were some of the best I've ever had. We followed these with soft boiled eggs, topped with black garlic and black truffle - probably the dish of the night. Perfectly boiled egg halves, adhered to the plate with some tasty garlic aoli, and topped with some black garlic, and shaved tasmanian black truffle - these were divine. We bravely ordered crumbed lambs brains atop shredded pork belly and red lentils. We need not have worried, they were cooked to perfection, and the pork belly and lentils accompaniment was perfect.
At this stage, after these tapas, the beautiful housemade bread and a glass of spanish grenache I was actually getting surprisingly full! So we looked to the raciones (larger plates) and ordered one to share - Echuca Berkshire pork belly atop fennel seed and smoky aubergine. Before this arrived we also snuck in some manchengo cheese with quince paste (perfect) and ordered a potato tortilla to go alongside the main. When it arrived, the pork belly was perfectly crunchy on top, and had a surprising amount of tender flesh beneath. The egglplant and fennel seed mixture matched perfectly with the pork. The tortilla (spanish style) was superb, and sent out with some more of that tasty garlic aoli.
I did not dare look at the dessert menu - even though I felt like I hadn't eaten much at all I was fairly full. I should eat like that more often. I finished off the meal with a fino sherry - it was quite good, although next time I think I would order one as an aperitif, especially as it was served somewhat chilled.
The fit-out of the restaurant was inviting and cosy, without being too cramped. The staff were that perfect mix of attentive, but then out of the picture and not hovering while you enjoy the food and the company. All in all it was a great night, and I would happily go back again anytime.
197 Gertrude Street