It’s a delight to see Miguel Maestre* return to the modern Spanish tapas that first excited me about his cooking.
Take his Grilled Mushrooms ($10) as a case in point. A medley of shitake, Swiss brown, oyster, king brown and button mushrooms sautéed with garlic, topped with an egg, and delivered to the table with love, pride and a liberal helping of Spanish sex appeal. Who knew Miguel had an even more handsome brother?
Carlos Maestre is wonderfully warm on the floor, and a passionate advocate for his mother country’s cooking ingenuity. A jug of crisp apple and lychee laden White Sangria ($35) will fuel your seduction. He’s single (at least for now).
Wrap your lips around a trio of Cucuruchos de Jamon Serrano ($19) – crisp cones filled with decadent potato puree – while you contemplate something much more wicked.
First I suggest a little wine – the Vionta Albarino ($12/glass) is a beauty – and some Huevos Crujientes ($22) with chorizo, egg and little cubes of potato (for stamina).
A few Sher Wagyu Roast Beef Tortilla ($14) wouldn't go astray either...
Then, if you take along an (attached) girlfriend, she can have Churros con Chocolate ($10)...
...while you swallow creamy Leche Frita ($10) milk fritters sitting under a scoop of dark chocolate ice cream. Half way through, swap plates – I hear it drives men wild.
Excellent food, great drinks, buzzy vibe to the space... I'll definitely be returning though probably not on a Saturday night. When I asked the sexy Carlos how he manages to survive the ladies when it's busy, and he smiled a little wanly then said: "Sometimes I need the security guard to help me..." You'd better come yourself and see why...
*Please note: Miguel Maestre was hired as a menu consultant in the initial stages of this venue. He is no longer associated with it, though his handsome brother is still on the floor.
18 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9247 5500