Spanish roundup fiesta part II – The Bohemian
This would not be the first or last time I would visit the Bohemian. Previously a paid-for meal, this time: out of pocket. Staff are warm, and head chef Josep Espuga is always around to make the dining experience that little more special.
Patatas bravas. This is a distinctly unique rendition steering away from the traditional roughly wedge-cut potatoes slathered in spicy tomato sauce, instead bringing a little more elegance with singularly presented cylinders of crunchy potato enclosing a creamy inside. A beautiful swirl of aioli and spiced tomato to finish.
Octopus – Galican-style (Northwestern Spain) grilled octopus spiced with a little paprika. Succulent and moreish – perfectly grilled.
Eggs (Heuvo revuelto con chorizo y espuma de ago) – this isn’t any old boiled egg, but one filled with the stomach warming froth of egg, flecks of chorizo, combined with foam of garlic. You have to eat this quick before the air escapes the foam!
Quail thigh lollipops. The witty Spanish name for this dish – “Chupa-chups de codorniz”, is an excellent prelude to the flavour intensity of quail dipped in honey, soy and balsamic sauce. Unfortunately no photo here. My excuse: these were nearly sold out that night, and thus having only 4 of these between 8 people, I was clearly too busy eyeing & *ahem eating one of them.
Arros negro – I always seem to order the squid ink paella over its paler cousin, much to my friends’ visual disgust. Sure it may stain your teeth black for a short time, but the subtle sea aroma is absolutely beautiful. On the occasions I have ordered paella the balance of flavours have been spot on however, the crusting on the base has been a little hit and miss.
Spanish desserts are always worth a try…
The Bunuelos de Chocolate and Caramelised brioche pudding were ones I had tried previously and loved. The chocolate filled doughnut balls oozed with warm chocolate. The brioche pudding with its brûlée surface was a big sugary delight, with a sour wedge of citrus note.
Rating: yummy+1.5. Located in a developing part of Melbourne’s riverside, although arguably a little far from the CBD, it is well worth the travel. Well balanced tapas, with some quirky twists and beautiful elegance.
Where: 35 Dukes Walk, South Wharf
Contact: 03 9682 0566
I might also sneak in a quick mention about the Moro Olive Oil Launch event earlier this year, held at Bohemian, for their new line – Moro Seleccion Hojiblanca. It is an “… extra virgin olive oil with a very specific taste, made using only a single variety of olive, the Hojiblanca… Perfect for dipping, drizzling and finishing dishes…, but… also ideal for sauteing and baking.” It was a night of a lot of olive oil appreciation – tasting from special cups; learning how to accentuate the aromas of olive oil by cupping and warming the glass first, and also an olive-oil inspired menu. Though I do love my olive oil, the olive-oil based menu on the night came too heavy, without enough refreshing elements to counter. The lesson of the day: everything in moderation and balance. [Courtesy of Dig Marketing Group and Moro].
See here for a more detailed review of the night.