Two weekends in a row, O and I have enjoyed outstanding tapas with James and Signorina Zaloa.
I was a little worried about choosing a restaurant for the Spanish Princess because she really knows her tapas. But after a morning at the Royal Melbourne Show and a birthday barbecue at Jess’s place in the afternoon, we were both pretty stuffed. Before you ask, yes, my diet had been pushed to the back burner of my mind for the day. Tapas was the logical choice.
Movida was booked out (I really wanted O to try their churros) but I remembered hearing about Bar Lourinha, the new Spanish/Portugese place on Little Collins St. They have big communal tables and don’t take bookings, so after a couple of drinks at the Gin Palace we walked right in and were able to get a table straight away.
It was only last night, but I already have so many fond memories of Bar Lourinha!
The first dish was mussels. Perfectly plump, meaty mussels cooked in an exquisite white wine sauce. The four of us were quite possessive about the bowl after the mussels had finished; the waitress kept trying to take it and we wanted to keep dipping the bread into the sauce.
Next was the carne crudo. Raw minced beef with horseradish, seasoned to perfection. Thankfully I wasn’t eating with squeamish diners and the four of us tucked in with Spanish gusto. (Or is that Italian?)
Next up was the chickpeas. Soft creamy chickpeas with a cinnamon spiciness. Usually chickpea dishes kind of hang around a shared food table for a while, but this one didn’t last long at all. I’d love to know how they spice that dish – it was one of the most unexpected seasonings I’ve tasted.
By now, the meal was really building to a crescendo. Four gorgeous little rabbit empanadillas. So cute… Muchos guapo! I just love a good dumpling. James taught O and I some colourful Spanish colloquialisms involving the Spanish word for rabbit which I won’t go into here…
Now the cymbals were really crashing and we hit the high note: The Flaming Chorizo. One gorgeously spicy chorizo sausage that was set alight at the table! It was all very dramatic, and the chorizo had a real kick to it. Perfecto!
After the incendiary climax, we cooled down with dessert. A couple of serves of churros (O got to try them after all, but I have to say the dipping sauce is better at Movida. Much more chocolatey). I chose the pomegranate and blood orange crema.
So I can’t wait to go back to Bar Lourinha. It’s a fantastic place to go with a small group so you can try everything on the menu!