April 23, 2012

197 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
I was in the mood for some tapas, so organised a dinner for two at Anada, Fitzroy’s contribution to the Melbourne tapas scene. My dining partner was the lovely Miss E, who very kindly waited as I took photos of each dish (it didn’t help that I had the camera on manual focus for half the meal without realising it, so really any non-blurry photos are a blessing!) The food was excellent on the whole, but I found the service to be a tad rude and condescending.

The restaurant is small but the menu is long and interesting; you will have no trouble at all picking dishes to try! I recommend getting a mix of the smaller tapas and larger raciones dishes to share.

To whet our appetites, a pair of boquerones with white anchovies, pamitos (palm hearts) and guindilla peppers. A pleasant appetiser, but it left a slightly vinegary taste in my mouth, kind of like when you eat cheap olives from a jar.

One of my favourites, fried aubergine (how delicious is aubergine?!) with labneh, chilli and mint. Brilliant, just brilliant. A fantastic confluence of flavours; the peppery taste of aubergine, the creamy labneh, the kick from the chilli.

Syrian lentils on a crouton with crispy onion – an excellent vegetarian option that looks somewhat unappetising but is actually delicious and subtly spiced.

Fried cauliflower with zataar and house yoghurt. This was brilliant, as most cauliflower dishes are in Melbourne these days. I loved the soft flesh of the cauli with the crispy exterior and a salty tang from the zataar. I think this one may even be better that the cauliflower offered up at Huxtable, which is very similar in design.

Rabbit empanadilla (baby empanada), which had a surprisingly strong tomato taste and was wonderfully packed full of shredded pieces of rabbit meat.

House morcilla with a quail egg. This was delicious but was very rich and could easily have been shared, despite the small portion size. The quail egg was adorable, and once punctured it blended into the morcilla that had a rather wet texture. I also thought it could have been more heavily spiced, but that’s just me being picky.

To inject some much needed freshness and colour to our meal: beetroot with labne, mint and sherry vinegar. I am a huge fan of beetroot so it was only inevitable that I enjoy this dish: great contract between the tangy vinegar and creamy labneh.

Milk braised kid with peas and broadbeans. This was alright, although the flavours weren’t as gutsy as the other dishes. My first piece of kid was kind of bony, but the second had more meat on it and was soft (it’s so easy for goat/kid to be tough) and freshened by the greens.

The slow roasted beef cheeks in Oloroso with fava bean puree was excellent, very rich and soft and decadent, and I LOVED the puree (lots of garlic).

For dessert, E went with the interesting sounding lemon yoghurt cake with a pistachio crumb. It all looked a bit too soft to me, but she really enjoyed the freshness of the lemon and the pop of pomegranate seeds.

Crema Catalana, delicious, smooth, and with a thickly bruléed top that was devilishly fun to crack through.


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Filed under: Fitzroy, Spanish