Hermosa Cantina – Wembley

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Hermosa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hermosa Cantina, found on Cambridge Street, is run by the same team behind the popular North Beach brunch spot, Tropico. We pop by for dinner to see if the Spanish inspired restaurant is worthy of the same buzz its sister venue has created.

It’s an impromptu dinner, we walk in off the street with Little Chef in tow. The modern Spanish eatery is not too full, so we have the pick of the tables and head toward a cosy booth. The light filled dining room has terracotta tones and busy Spanish tiles. We sit at a distressed table, which was previously a door.IMG_3149

A bubbly waiter takes our drink order. There is a varied drinks menu which has a focus on local and Spanish wines. I choose a fruity Spanish Muga rose, a garnacha tempranillo blend, at $45 a bottle.IMG_3088

The first of our shared small plates arrives full of crisp cauliflower cheese and morcilla croquets, $6 each, which are absolutely more-ish.croquettes

The gooey interior is oozing with cheese, mashed potato and Spanish pork sausage, with a tiny squeezie bottle of red pepper ketchup on the side. We have to restrain ourselves in ordering another round, they’re so good.IMG_3099

Another tasty dish “pan con” mushrooms (mushrooms with bread), $5 each, are topped with creamy goats cheese.Mushrooms

We nibble on sliced longaniza sausage, $10. Its mildly spicy with smoky paprika notes. I relish the accompanying green tomato salsa (pun intended!), which compliments the Spanish style salami.IMG_3093

It’s rare to find a restaurant that doesn’t cater for children, fine dining spots being an exception. There is no kids menu at Hermosa, luckily Little Chef is happy enough with a beef slider, $9. Though I’m not too sure if all children would appreciate the patty being cooked medium rare, as adults would. The brioche bun is dripping with mojo rojo – a salsa made of peppers and smoked almonds. The juicy patty is topped with melted sheep’s cheese and pickled zucchini. It’s a posh slider indeed!IMG_3112

We order two scallops, $8 each, topped with tomato and a chorizo crumble. They are presented on half shells and a tad on the small side. The kitchen pre-empt this and we are served four scallops. A welcome gesture and good to see that they are pro-actively wanting to please their customers.IMG_3106

Our meal is a tale of two waiters. The first waiter is friendly, engaging and descriptive with exactly what components we have on our plates. The second waiter simply brings our main meals over and adds he hopes we enjoy our meals, which is fine, but I am left wondering what is in the sauce pot next to my paella, as it isn’t listed on the menu. The service also becomes slower after our bigger plates come out.

Feeling like something more substantial, we relish the free range duck and beetroot paella, $37. It’s a hearty dish with shredded duck throughout, topped with more duck, duck fat migas (breadcrumbs) and baby beetroot leaves. I later discover the sauce is a rich jus of beetroot juice and duck stock.paella

Where is our Wagyu, I wonder? I find it hiding under a mound of crispy kale. I expect a lot from a 6 score wagu steak, $42. This piece of meat was perfectly pink, though I’ve had much tastier steaks. I don’t think rump cap is generally the most flavoursome cut of meat and I would have preferred to see a sirloin on that dish.IMG_3125

On the side are smoked baby potatoes with lashings of decadent beef fat butter.IMG_3121

We really don’t have the room – but we also can’t say no to the choc churros, $14. The three of us polish off a pot of chocolate mousse, white chocolate mint and chopped areo bar – a heavenly combination. A shooter of crème de meth is on the side for dipping. The chocolate churros, though tasty, aren’t as fluffy and fresh as I’d hoped.IMG_3142

Overall, we like Hermosa and it’s slow paced, casual vibe of Spain. The service and the food are generally good and the dishes are well-cooked too. Those croquettes… Olé!IMG_3100

{First published in the Post newspaper }

At a glance

■ Hermosa Cantina

353 Cambridge Street

Wembley

Phone 9387 6448

■ Opening times

Wed – Fri – 10.30am to late

Sat – 7am till late

Sun – 7am to 10pm

■ Rating

food 3

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Spanish

■ wine – A decent sized wine

list made of mainly local

and Spanish drops.

■ Chef – George Fowler

■ Owners – George Fowler & Garry Kemp

■ feel – casual Spanish cool

■ wheelchair access – yes

■ cost

Snacks – $5 to $19

Larger plates – $9 to $42

Dessert – $14

■ all in all – a laid back cantina with good vibes and tasty food. Drop in

for a glass of vino and nibbles or a have a feast fit for a king.

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