After a refreshing nap (what better time for a nap than the one hour journey back to Melbourne from the Yarra Valley?), we felt ready for tapas and given it was about 6:15pm on a rainy Sunday evening we thought we'd be in with a chance of a table.
Although the place was busy there was no one else waiting so after a 5 minute wait at the bar we were shown to two little stools in the corner at the window bar overlooking Flinders Street.
Service was pretty prompt and efficient and we were advised well as to how much we should order and which dishes.
We started off with some tapas which arrived quite quickly. This is the piquillo - piquillo pepper with pisto Manchego and alioli. A delicious morsel of sweet pepper, tangy cream cheese and some chopped roasted courgette. An absolute delight to eat.
Perfectly golden and crispy but with no oily residue or greasiness and filled with a smooth sweet mushroom and rice combinations that is earthy and creamy and sweet and still manages to feel light on the tongue.
Anchoa - Cantabrian anchovy with olive jelly and crouton.
Admittedly this one didn't appeal to me so left it to Steve after a nibble. Have to admit it was better than I thought with salty complex flavours and contrasting textures - crispy crouton, slippy jelly and tougher more resistant anchovy. Not my favourite; I prefer the one with the tomato sorbet at MoVida (original one) but Steve loved this.
Caldo - Jamon and mint consommé (not pictured).
Deep dark broth that was warming and savoury with just a hint of mint in the back reminding me of the Moroccan style mint tea.
Scallops - steamed with crispy crumbs and bacon (not pictured).
Delicious combination of sweet tastes of the sea with a salty bacon and finished with a crunch of crumbs.
Flounder - Whole flounder with peppers in a burnt butter sauce
Light and delicate flakes of sweet fish with a rich buttery sauce. The sharpness of the peppers cut through the oiliness of the butter. So fresh the whole dish sings.
Cordero - Pyrenees slow cooked lamb
Tender and moist chunk of meat with a charred crust in a deep tomato sauce. Very rich, very deep and very satisfying. The meat came away with a gentle pull and was melt in the mouth tender.
We were very pleased with this meal and felt we had the volume of food just right. Definitely worth remembering for a repeat visit. It's a fun place to sit and watch the street traffic and enjoy a busy and bustley informal kind of atmosphere.