470 Bridge Road Richmond, Victoria 3121
|Opening hours||Mon-Sun 12 Noon – 12 Midnight|
|Features||Outdoor seating, Bar, Accepts bookings, Vegetarian friendly, Gluten-free options, Private dining, Licensed, Romance-first date, Events|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Chef||James Smyth, Jake Guthrie|
|Payments||Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 9429 4348|
BYO zebra print. Trade winds have long blown a game motif into this corner pub transformed in its own way into a Moroccan souk meets Arabian harem meets game-park safari tent on a Moorish night. It’s a cultural pastiche, sure, beginning with antlers on the outside wall, but it’s also an interior of irony (the disco mirror-ball bull’s head) and just a little French colonial theatricality. So think snails in garlic butter and duck-liver parfait, in a menu steeped otherwise in the robust flavours of the Iberian peninsula. Comfort is king, as with a tomato-based Portuguese seafood stew with risoni pasta, or Spanish paella that is as it should be: smoky, spicy, chorizo-salty, and toasted on its bottom. Tapas range from roasted flat mushrooms with the creamy goodness of leek bechamel sauce with sheep’s milk manchego cheese, to the no-fuss playfulness of a special of anchovy fillets direct from the tin. Rock the kasbah? It’s nightly, with whimsy, and always warmed by the crowd.
AND … Now open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays for churros with molten chocolate.
VIBE Jungle drums and sangria jugs.
BEST BIT The paella.
WORST BIT Occasional service glitches.