197 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Legend has it that an old King recovered from a long illness by drinking wine and eating small dishes in between meals. Once he recovered, he declared that all taverns under his rule would not be able to serve alcohol unless accompanied by a small snack "tapa". This is just one story of many on the origins of tapas, and I will have to leave google to satiate your lust for knowledge on the matter.
Añada is a cosy little tapas restaurant/bar in Fitzroy. Modestly decorated, its warm ambience, good food and fine selection of Spanish wines keeps the customers coming back.
The simple menu incorporates a range of traditional tapas dishes and... bigger tapas dishes, or 'Raciones'.
Be sure to order generously, as the tapas can generally be devoured all in one bite.
House made sourdough was presented first as we waited for our first wave of dishes to arrive.
To start, we got the chorizitos, chargrilled quail with frekah and pomegranate salad, salt cod croquettas, stuffed calamari and crumbed lamb brain with pork belly red lentils to share between our group of five. Each dish was petite but packed a lot of flavour. Favourites included the salted cod croquettes - a gooey puree of salted cod and garlic shoots encrusted in a crunchy shell, and the baby calamari with the sumac stuffing.
|Stuffed calamari with sumac|
|salt cod and garlic shoot croquetta|
For the Raciones (the equivalent of tapas mains) we ordered the pork belly, beef cheeks, wagyu beef, king fish, spanish mackerel and a gem lettuce salad. My favourite was the beef cheeks - tender morsels of meat rolling in Oloroso and fava bean puree.
|slow roasted beef cheeks with oloroso and fava bean puree|
|pork belly with fennel seed and smoked aubergine|
|king fish in clam pil-pil with fava beans|
|wagyu beef wrapped in potato|
Our tapas and bigger tapas were good, but our bellies weren't quite satified yet, so we ordered four out of the five desserts... (fat bun style).
If the tapas, in terms of taste, was like a giant rainbow in the mouth, then the desserts would be like riding a giant mediterranean unicorn on this rainbow to Spain.
The pomegranate and orange blossom sorbet with sugared pistachios was zesty and refreshing. Crema Catalina was my favourite; Crack open the perfectly caramalised top and expose the sweet cinnamon and lemon custard inside. Yummeh! Pedro Ximanez and muscatel ice cream tasted like a gourmet rum and raisin blend. Even Bun, who doesn't normally like rum and raisin, voted this dessert his favourite. Lastly, we all shared churros with a rich dark chocolate dipping sauce. These were crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle, paired with the bitter sweet sauce - a heavenly end to our evening.
|pedro ximanez and muscatel icecream|
|churros with chocolate|
Please sir, can we have Añada?