September 26, 2010 § 2 Comments
Since we met, NB and I have had a running joke about my avoidance of tapas. It is likely to come up in any conversation that mentions Spain, little morsels, chorizo, or eating out in general, so I think I caught him off-guard last night when I agreed to a tapas dinner. In my defence I never said I didn’t enjoy tapas (although that seems to be dear NB’s deluded train-of-thought!) I merely didn’t feel like it when once suggested and haven’t yet seemed to dig myself out of the hole (being too food-fussy too early…a serious dating faux pas). The truth is, with the exception of one meal years ago there hadn’t been circumstances in which I might have eaten tapas… ok, perhaps the real reason is that I DID avoid any hint of Ole due to a skewed perception of greasy deep-fried potatoes and hip-widening sausages. There! I said it!
So this is the backstory to how I ended up on Victoria St, Darlinghurst, yesterday evening with black stockings, mild panic and bated breath. We walked past numerous thai places – a healthy stir fry perhaps, a lebanese joint – tabbouleh and hummus are good for you, and Una’s – ??!?! – but I refuse to back down on my commitment.
We walk in to Kika and I am nearly twirled around by an enthusiastic Spanish waiter who I will call Alejandro (although I’m nearly certain this isn’t his name). We were given a table that would be free until 8:45 and, as it was still before 7pm I acknowledged that the culinary Gods had aligned for me to dine here. Alejandro left our menus and a bottle of tap water (I don’t think there was any discussion of still or sparkling- TICK!) while we perused the wine list. NB, having spent time living in Spain, was thrilled to see a variety of Spanish wines listed and ordered a smooth tempranillo that was the perfect velvety balance to our food.
I was somewhat out of my depth so left it up to NB to order, which he did in rapid Spanish, and although we doubted Alejandro when he said our 5 chosen dishes would be plenty, it would seem he was right. The food came out quickly and all at once and it was pretty much faultless as far as I was concerned. The olive oil was rich and flavoursome, the use of salt liberal yet delicate, the chargrilled asparagus worth comment and the heat of the garlic prawns a lovely contrast with the cool olives.
Portion sizes are perfect for two people to have a few bites of everything and the only thing NB and I regretted was that our stomachs couldn’t hold any more…next time I might wear my expandable pants so we can order the chicken wings as well… That’s right…next time! And you know what, I think I’ll be the first to suggest it!
The menus provide a taste of Spanish pop-culture
Olives (Aceitunas $5.50) and sauteed asparagus with garlic, olive oil and almond sauce (Esparragos a lo Sencillo $14.00)
A night special of baked chorizo sausage with poached eggs and tomato
Meatballs in traditional Spanish tomato sauce (Albondigas en Salsa $14.50)