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.

Pata Negra – Nedlands {CLOSED}

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Pata Negra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

David Coomer is one of Western Australia’s most celebrated chefs – with a reputation for sourcing top local produce and never compromising on quality. For years his iconic fine diner, Star Anise, was the place to go for an unforgettable meal.

His Spanish tapas restaurant Pata Negra feels like a small bar straight out of Catalonia – black walls, warm lighting, rustic furniture and charming mismatched glassware. There is a courtyard out the back, strewn with lanterns, a wonderful space to dine on a warm summers evening.IMG_0680

The wine list has an undeniably Spanish influence, with Tempranillo being a prominent choice. We select a bottle of smooth Pinot Noir ($85) from the small Dexter winery on the Mornington Peninsular.

The menu of share plates reads; Tapas, The Earth (Vegetarian), The Sea (Seafood), The Land (Meat), The Dairy (Cheese) and more – with four options under each food category. I feel a little overwhelmed at what to pick – there are so many tasty possibilities! Our waitress suggests we choose the “Vamos a darle de Comer” menu, which roughly translates as “we are going to give food”. For $86 per person, the kitchen sends out a random selection of dishes to our table.

Little bowls of mixed olives and spiced almonds, from the tapas menu, gets our tastebuds started. Next is xarcuteria (charcuterie) and we enjoy a platter of mouth-watering cured meats serrano, chorizo and fennel salami.IMG_0685

A chicken liver pate, with a layer of madiera jelly, has a depth of flavour so often lacking in pates. We spread it thickly onto sliced crusty sourdough and relish every morsel.IMG_0683

From “the sea” we try Arroz negro – a rice dish similar to seafood paella. The al dente rice, flavoured with squid ink, is served with a generous dolop of allioli – the Spanish alternative to aioli. We mix the creamy allioli into the paella and add a squeeze of lemon juice. This tasty dish is one of Pata Negra’s mainstays and I can see why – the cuttlefish is tender and the black rice has a perfectly thin crisp layer on the base.IMG_0688

The gold band snapper ceviche, with smooth avocado, cucumber and dainty little radishes work well together to make a fresh and flavoursome dish – with a punch of summery citrus tang.IMG_0686

We are served a cracking fennel dish, from “The earth”. It is served with garden-fresh broad beans. The flavours of the dish are well balanced with salty anchovy, creamy pecorino cheese and sweet basil.IMG_0696

The wood roasted asparagus, served with a more-ish romesco sauce, is deliciously simple. David Coomer also runs Xarcuteria deli in Claremont and this romesco sauce took me back to the time Chef and I enjoyed some scrumptious take away pork belly rolls and eating them on the Cottesloe foreshore.IMG_0692

From “The land” we devour the Rangers Valley skirt steak, served with kohlrabi, a horseradish cream and hot sauce. I’m so glad that we chose the “trust the chef” menu, as I probably wouldn’t have picked this dish. Skirt steak is one of those cuts of meat which is inexpensive and full of flavour – but often not cooked correctly. Here, it is so tender, it melts in the mouth. Perfection. The kohlrabi, similar to a turnip, is an interesting addition to the dish.Skirt Steak

We finish our dinner with scrumptious cinnamon doughnuts, house made ice-cream flavoured with Spanish sherry Pedro Ximenez, topped with plump raisins.IMG_0702

With new restaurants continuously opening in Perth, it is so easy to get swept up in the buzz and excitement and forget a little about the existing Perth kitchens that are doing an exceptional job. For us, Pata Negra is THE tapas spot in Perth.IMG_0704

** Originally printed in the Post Newspaper **

At a glance

■ Pata Negra

26 Stirling Highway

Nedlands

Phone 08 9389 5517

■ Opening times

Tuesday to Saturday

6pm to Midnight

Friday Lunch noon to 3pm

■ Rating

food 5

service 4

ambience 4

value for money 3

■ style – Spanish Tapas

■ wine –Spanish inspired

wine list. BYOW cellar

night Wednesdays

■ Chef – David Coomer

■ Owners – David Coomer

■ feel – intimate and relaxed

■ wheelchair access – no

■ cost

Small Plates- $6.50 to $35

Larger plates – $17.50 to $37.50

Dessert – $16 to $24

■ all in all – Delicious food –

perfectly balanced flavours,

interesting produce and

spot-on technique. Attentive

service and fab venue.

Pinchos – Leederville

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Pinchos on Urbanspoon

The sights and smells of Spain are bursting out of Pinchos, a small tapas bar in Leederville. A huge paella dish simmers away at the door, smelling rich and enticing, inviting me inside. Walking into the bar I had a strong feeling of Dejavu – it used to be a favourite of mine – Snags and Sons. Now owner, Justin Bell (also of Jus Burgers), has transformed it into a little piece of Spain where you can eat “Small bites to large plates and everything in between”.IMG_8674

Being a Perth food blogger does have it’s perks – I was invited by the lovely people at Pinchos for lunch. I still pay for far more meals out of my own pocket than I’m invited to – so when I’m lucky enough to get an invite, I see it as a little treat for all my hard work writing! I’d yet to visit Pinchos, so it was a perfect opportunity to check it out.IMG_8655

Pinchos means “to pierce/spike”. The pinchos are traditionally served in bars in Northern Spain – tasty bite-sized snacks which are typically served on skewers. Pinchos is licensed and their drinks – a wide range of beer, wine and spirits – are mainly sourced from Spain.

I chose to have the Menu Del Dia – which seems like outstanding value at $15. It’s available Monday to Friday. You can choose one pinchos, one Tapa and a salad that is accompanied by fresh bread. Check it out – yum!IMG_8664

To start, I had “Pintxo Choriso con miel” which translates as sausage, honey and cheese on a stick. It’s one of the cheapest morsels on the menu at just $2 each. I enjoyed the saltiness of the chorizo with the sweet honey. It was a delicious combination that got my tastebuds wanting more.IMG_8666

From the salad menu I choose the Remolacha y Garbanzos -$9. The bowl was brimming with beetroot, chickpeas, yogurt, apple, fennel, radish, honey and dukkah. It was a different salad combo to anything I’d had before, and I really enjoyed it. The crispness of the apple, fennel and radish was really refreshing. IMG_8667

After smelling the “Street Paella” wafting in, I just had to try that too! The Spanish staple was spot on, rice perfectly cooked with a generous amount of chorizo.IMG_8659

There are so many delicious looking things on the Tapas menu. Which small plate to choose?! There’s croquettes, meatballs, marinated prawns, salted cod and so much more. What a dilemma. In the end I (unsurprisingly) went for the pork belly. Chicharrones ($8) is a plate of deep fried pork belly, dusted in cumin. The deliciously crisp pork belly was tender and moist in the middle. So simple, SO GOOD!IMG_8670

Thanks Pinchos for the opportunity to try your delicious food!! Perfect to share over a bottle of cava with friends.IMG_8677

 

Rustico Tapas & Bar – Rockingham

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Rústico Tapas & Bar on Urbanspoon

Rustico Tapas and Bar is on the Rockingham foreshore. I had a little look about before finding Rustico. There were lots of families enjoying the shady playgrounds dotted along the beachside park. The beach was gorgeous too, I was tempted to feel the white sand beneath my toes, but I had a lunch date! IMG_7498

I was meeting two of my besties Mrs C and Mrs H at Rustico Tapas for lunch. I was a tad early, so got chatting to one of the friendly waitresses, who was very welcoming and excited about yet another gold plate nomination. Rustico has won a wall full of awards. The restaurant first came to my attention when Rob Broadfield gave it a rave review. Since then, it’s been on my must try list. IMG_7529

The interior of Rustico is of course rustic! It had a Spanish vibe with colourful feature lights and artwork. I was one of the first to arrive, but in no time the entire restaurant was full to bursting – this is a very popular spotIMG_7504

My two lovely friends are also mammas to be, so that was taken into consideration when picking our share dishes and drinks. We all opted for mocktails, picking a couple of virgin Mojitos and a fruity Barcelona Sunrise ($10). IMG_7507

We started lunch with a dish of more-ish mixed marinated olives ($9). IMG_7508

The salad ($15) of pear, rocket, parmesan and candied walnuts was a delicious combination. It was coated in a seeded mustard dressing. We all devoured the generous portion. IMG_7511

The pork belly ($23) was scrumptious. A collective “mmmm” was heard, as we took the first bite. It was extremely tender and packed full of porky flavour. The crackle was spot on too. The pork was accompanied by apple puree and a sticky pedro ximinez – a Spanish grape variety used to make a sweet dark sherry. We’re all big fans of pork belly and there was some discussion as to who should be lucky enough to eat the last piece!IMG_7512

The barramundi dish ($24) was also excellent and perfectly cooked – the fish moist and flaky with a perfectly crisp skin. It sat on a bed of sauce vierge (olive oil, lemon, diced tomato and basil) and creamed leek. IMG_7514

The nero paella ($28) was sensational. The rice and everything in it (like chorizo) was jet black, coated in squid ink. It was very tasty and topped with squid and scallops.IMG_7516

By this time we were felling full, but decided to be a little naughty and share some churros ($14). The Spanish doughnuts were perfectly cooked. Crisp on the outside, a little gooey in the middle and came with two dipping sauces – a white choc butterscotch and dark chocolate. Devine! IMG_7521

We all absolutely loved the food at Rustico. It was top notch produce, cooked exceedingly well. We all left with full bellies and for $49pp (food and drinks) I thought it was great value. The service is also excellent – friendly and knowledgeable – you get the impression the staff really love working there. For me, it was a 160km round trip there and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Most definitely worth the trip – if you live nearby I am SO jealous!

We were sat near the kitchen and each time a dish got popped up on the pass I would have serious plate envy! I will return to try out more of the delicious looking food – next time I’ll make sure I’m not driving, so I can enjoy some sangria too!

Good luck to Rustico in the gold plates this week! Whether they retain their gold plate or not – Rustico Tapas is an absolute winner anyway!

Check out more at www.rusticotapas.com.auIMG_7505

 

Basq

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Basq Restaurant on Urbanspoon
It was certainly a case of “The Hunger Games” when we tried the new Spanish Style restaurant in Currambine – next to Grand Cinemas. Chef and I were on a double date with his brother (the pastry chef) and his girlfriend, the lovely K. First was a movie and then (though we had stuffed ourselves with popcorn) we went for some drinks and food to share at Basq.

We really enjoyed the ambiance. It’s a very airy place, with huge open window, that
is wonderful on a warm summers night. Basq is the kind of restaurant that you’d usually only find in the inner suburbs of Perth or Fremantle. I liked the rustic vibe and it matched the tapas menu perfectly.

20131218_211104Lemon Pepper & paprika fried squid, parsley & lime $14 Perfectly cooked squid

IMG_20140120_155738Jamon & manchego cheese croquettes, spiced paprika aioli $9 Very tasty – I loved the use of this Spanish cheese, made from sheep’s milk. chef and I fought over the last one!

20131218_211056Chicken Liver pate and toasts $9 This was also tasty, with a smoky aftertaste. Chef noted that the pate was a little overcooked – as it felt grainy in our mouths.

IMG_20140120_155919Coconut panna cotta, black olive caramel & chocolate granita $14 This dessert really intrigued all of us, given the use of black olives. Presented in a glass, this was a good-looking dish. We all agreed that the flavour of the olive (though surprisingly pleasant) was very strong against the coconut panna cotta. Coconut is a subtle, delicate flavour and the olive completely overpowered it.

The service was very friendly and though I think they were probably towards the end of service when we arrived, they warmly welcomed us.

Head Chef Neil Herbert, formally of Bistro Felix (Subiaco), is certainly on the right track. It’s a bustling, funky restaurant – so rare in the outer northern suburbs. When we visited, the restaurant had only been open about 2 weeks, so there were a few very minor things that we turned a blind eye to – given that everyone would be still fining their feet. It’s a welcome addition to the dining scene in the Joondalup area. We’ll most definitely be back 🙂Untitled