Thursday, March 4, 2010
Pathetic heading I know but in no way let it reflect the way that I really feel about tapas. I love it! The flavour, the spice and all things nice really appeal to me. I was first introduced to the Spanish delights in London, in fact one of my first 'dates' with my best friend was at a tapas restaurant. I read somewhere that tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people aren't so focused on working their way through an entire meal but rather nibble on little bits and tastes while chatting away. That was certainly true with Mrs London and it was true more recently at Bar Lourinha in Melbourne.
Located at the top end of Little Collins Street this cosy eatery is packed full of conversation and energy, even on a 'quiet' Monday night. We were seated at the bar and promptly dove into the menu, devouring green olives, Yellow Tail Kingfish 'pancetta' with lemon oil, Crystal Bay prawn tortilla, heirloom tomatoes with fromage frais, roasted mushrooms with garlic cream and a huge serve of pimientos (it's like Spanish pepper roulette, most of them are sweet and gorgeous but occasionally you get a hot one and MAN are they spicy little puppies...needless to say every single pepper that entered my mouth was hot, luckily beer sooths the pain).
It always helps to know the chef. Bar Lourinha is part owned by Matt McConnell but as most of you foodies will know the top chefs always employ a brilliant head chef to help run the show (my husband for instance ;). At Bar Lourinha that brilliant chef is Marcus Allen. Marcus and H worked together a couple of years ago and have remained great friends - who else would get the honour of a special dessert platter sent to their table?? OK, so the 'dessert platter' consisted of a couple of Kopikos (coffee lollies, a staple of the chef diet) but hey, we still felt special.
The real desserts were too good to pass up. Churros. Need I say more? Yes. Churros with dulche de leche (Spanish candied milk)....cue Homer Simpson drool noise.
So Bar Lourinha was definitely my cup of Spanish candied milk so to speak. They don't take dinner reservations but we didn't have to wait to be seated on a Monday night, apparently things can get crazy on the weekends but it's well worth the wait.
Check out the full menu and wine list at http://www.barlourinha.com.au/welcome.php
NB The photos were taken on my phone so aren't great, but you get the idea