Catalonia – Kirribilli, Sydney

Yesterday my best friend Lemon and I went to Kirribilli to have lunch. We went to a couple of cafes in search of all day breakfast so I could have eggs benedict, but there weren’t any. But then we saw this modern looking Spanish tapas restaurant and the menu looked inviting.

We sat outside as the weather was really nice. Only downfall was that we saw next to a tree and because it’s autumn, the tree was shedding its leaves. So once in a while a leaf would float down to our table. Miraculously none of them landed in our food or drinks.

We started our meal with a drink each. I had a mocktail, or as the restaurant liked to call it, a ‘mockery’. I had the Bitter Passion: Passionfruit, Lime , Spiced Syrup, Ginger Beer and Bitters $7.50.

Lemon went all posh on me and got a glass of Dona Paula ’Los Cardos’ Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 Mendoza, Argentina $9.50. I quite liked my drink, although I found it a little bit too sweet. But when the ice started to melt, the drink became slightly diluted and it tasted quite refreshing.

For our meal we ordered:

Pan con sobrasada: Chorizo paste spread over slices of crusty bread, topped with a triangle of quince paste and a sprinkling of mint/basil. The bread was nice and crunchy and there was just enough chorizo paste on each piece. It didn’t taste as fatty as chorizo normally tastes. The quince paste gave the dish a little bit of sweetness but I think it was more for aesthetics than taste.

Pimentón braised lamb with panisse and spring peas: Braised lamb in a tomato based sauce with peas and cubes of deep fried chickpea cake. The lamb was so soft in the sauce. Although I found it a little bit dry and did prefer some more sauce. But the panisse (chickpea cake) was delicious. The texture felt like polenta and I thought it was polenta while eating it. But on further research, I found out it was in fact a fried, chickpea flour cake. The recipes online seem easy enough. I wonder where I can find chickpea flour?

Suzuki Mulloway with gnocchi, basil pudding and guincale: Fillet of Suzuki Mulloway with fried gnocchi with basil puree topped with some slices of fried unsmoked Italian bacon. The fish looked like it had been fried but It also looked like it had been poached. The fish was cooked perfectly and you could still taste the freshness of the fish. The basil puree also added to the freshness and I thought it went well with the fish. The fried coating on the gnocchi gave it some flavour as sometimes gnocchi can be a little bit bland. I didn’t really like the guincale (friend unsmoked Italian bacon), maybe because all it looked like was a fried piece of fat. I tried some, but I didn’t think it was anything special so I gave my other piece to Lemon.

Pan con sobrasada, Pimentón braised lamb with panisse and spring peas and Suzuki Mulloway with gnocchi, basil pudding and guincale was part of a lunch special which was $35.

Crisp pork belly with mojo verde, roasted romaine, radish and tomato compote $17.50: Crispy pork belly with a herb puree, romaine lettuce, slices of radish and tomato compote. The crispy pork belly reminded me of Chinese roast pork belly with crackling (烧肉) but less fatty. The skin was nice and crisp, although I did look like I was attacking it when I was trying to break off a small piece. I found the roasted romaine slightly too oily but they were still crisp. The radish slices provided a little bit of pepperiness to the dish. The mojo verde (herb puree) and the tomato compote worked well to compliment the pork belly to avoid the dish being too oily and heavy.

While we were eating, a table of 4 people sat down. The waiter poured them some water, then after they looked at the menu they stood up to leave. The waiter had to take the glasses inside and wipe down the table. I thought that was a little bit rude. Unlike them, Lemon and I had walked around Kirribilli and stopped at various cafes and restaurants, looked at the menu before deciding to sit down or not. I personally prefer to make the decision whether to eat there or not before I’ve been seaten and served water. But that’s just me.

Overall I had another excellent time. The weather was great. The service was great. I didn’t feel like I was in a Spanish tapas restaurant, but maybe it’s because we sat outside, but the ambiance was great. For a Spanish tapas restaurant, I found the prices quite reasonable and we were so full after lunch. I think I will go back again next time I’m in Kirribilli.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

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