Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Andaluz, Perth

Andaluz Bar and Tapas has been on my "Restaurant Wishlist" for more than a year. A while ago, I finally managed to gather my foodie adventure friends to come along with me to one of the most talk about tapas joint in town. When it comes to tapas style dining, the more dining companion you have the better it gets! Which was true as we got to try many different dishes.

We were there on a Wednesday without a reservation (evening bookings not accepted), which came to our surprise that they were full to the brim, mostly with after hour suits wearer, thank god we dressed well enough to fit in to the crowd.  Staff were really busy to attend to us and we were left standing in the middle of the restaurant exchanging awkward eye contact with other patrons hoping that they understand we were waiting for a table, so please leave soon...

Not long after, we got ourselves a small table to share among 5 of us, some of us even sharing seats. We then peruse the given menu while waiting for a bigger table to fit us all in comfortably. After much drama with getting a proper size table, items on the menu sounds promising and excited and we can't wait to start our night with good food and drinks of course!

While deciding on what to eat, our wine expert Mr. T got us a bottle of Sierra Cantabria Seleccion Tempranillo '08 D.O. Rioja, ESP to start the night off.

Rabbit Terrine, cumquat & mustard pickle $13.50 
The rabbit terrine was on their daily special, it was served with slices of New Norcia bread, cumquat & mustard pickle. A great way to start the night with fats, can you see the amount of fats on the terrine? And who doesn't love pork fats.

Manchego & artichoke croquettes, parsley & caper verde $13
Croquettes was light and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, however the saltiness of Manchego cheese may have overpower the subtleness of artichoke.

Chicken & duck liver parfait, toast $12
This is a "OMG-TO-DIE-FOR" dish of the night, served with grilled fresh bread, the parfait was smooth as soft butter consistency, it was also encased in whipped butter which brings the parfait eating experience to the next level. Imagine eating a smooth liver parfait on a toast spread with thick butter. It was well executed as everyone has their eyes rolled back after savouring it, the whole table was full of pleasant moans as if the world has just stop. If I could choose the dishes on my last elaborated dinner before I die, this has got to be on it.

Seared scallops, Berkshire pork cheek confit, Alvear PX soaked raisins $26
This scallop dish boast to be their signature dish, it was nice as nothing can go wrong with a combination of pork and scallops. Scallops was cooked to perfection and the pork cheek confit was done nicely, but it kinda lack of WOW factor for me.

Charred corn, green onions, paprika & cumin butter $13
Another favourite dish of mine of the night, the waitress suggested squeezing lemon juice over the corn to enhance the flavour. Which was true, corn was perfectly charred yet popping with natural juices over your palate when eating, with just enough of Spanish smoked paprika and cumin tossed through, it gave an additional kick on your palate and then round off with the acidity from lemon. A simple dish but with bold flavour, it was excited to eat as every bite gave me different surprises. I would love to put this as the side dish on my "last elaborated dinner".

Crispy torchon of pigs head, raisin puree, mustard vinegarette $16
A wise man once said never waste every single bit of a pork. Pigs head might sound gross to some people, but I like to think they are exotic. It was poached and then crumbed and deep fried, clever use of this cut of meat as it was full fat but oh so yummy.

Crispy skin barramundi, fennel & cucmber salad, anise aioli $21 
The barramundi was on their special that day, the fish was cooked to perfection and the salad was fresh and crisp. Flavour wise nothing too excited, but was a refreshing and light dish after trying all those heavily flavoured food.

Slow cooked octopus, shallots, preserved lemon & chilli $12
Yellow tail kingfish crudo, fennel & shallos $15
Both the octopus and kingfish crudo was fresh and light, a good rest from eating too much pork and fats.

Lamb shoulder sausage, sheeps milk yoghurt, green tomato & chickpeas $17
Our resident lamb lover can't walk out the door without trying a lamb dish, it was good but wasn't memorable.

We have decided that we have had enough of savoury and it's time for a sweet ending. Clockwise from top left: Mastic & yoghurt granita, marinated strawberries $13; Dark chocolate & pistachio torte, pistachio cream $13; Creme Catalana, aniseed cracker $13; Tarago River Triple Cream with crackers and muscatel. We ordered Salted almond praline ice-cream sandwich with caramel milkshake, but our waitress got us the yoghurt granita and marinated strawberries by mistake. Dessert was nice enough to end the night with, but didn't leave much strong impression.

A special cocktail 
The place was nice and relaxing, with dim mood lighting and nice tune, we didn't have the urge to go after having dessert, instead we started on a few more rounds of cocktail and martinis. I forgo the usual Mojitos and got myself a cutting-edge cocktail which I don't remember it's name, all I know is my glass of cocktail has star anise and thyme in it. 

Andaluz is in fact a great place for people who enjoy vast selection of drinks and great tapas food. If I work in the city, I can see myself becoming a regular. And for those who doesn't, make sure you pay a visit to Andaluz if you enjoy good food. 

Food Quality: 4.25 outta 5 buttery parfait
Service: 3.75 outta 5 buttery parfait
Ambience: 4 outta 5 buttery parfait

Opening Hours
Monday - Thursday: Noon - Midnight
Friday: Noon - 1am
Saturday: 6pm - 1am 

Basement level
21, Howard St,
Perth City
08 9484 0092 
*Bookings only accepted for lunch between 12pm-3pm*

Andaluz Bar & Tapas on Urbanspoon 

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