Wohoo, my first blog post!
So guys, my blog will be about the wonderful, or not so wonderful, cuisine the city of Sydney has to offer. I am by no means a culinary expert. I am a 22 year old recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts. One of my favourite things to do in the world is to eat out. Eating out is not just going out to a restaurant and eating food. Eating out not only is a great thing to do as a social activity; the conversations, bonding with your friends, but it is also about getting to satisfy any food-lover’s passion for food; tasting and experiencing great food.
First stop: Casa Asturiana Spanish Restaurant.
This is one of the many Spanish restaurants on Liverpool Street in the Sydney CBD, so much so it has been appropriately titled the ‘Spanish Quarter’. So let’s get this review crackin’!
First off, I’ve never been to this restaurant before. The restaurant seemed pretty hidden in comparison to the other restaurants on the street, having an opaque front door and a window through which you couldn’t see much. I walked in the restaurant and the vibe I got instantly was that it was very traditional. The place was adorned with wooden flooring and tables as well as a huge Spanish flag. Meh, it wasn’t the best decor I’ve seen in a restaurant, but I’m quite partial to the more polished and modern look.
So my partner and I decided we didn’t want to order from the a la carte menu and we opted for tapas. The a la carte menu didn’t tickle my fancy as it was quite pricey and there wasn’t much to choose from. The tapas menu was divided into 3 sections (all dishes with prices ranging from $10-$20): vegetarian, seafood and meat. We decided to get a bit from each – this included: patatas bravas (a potato dish with a tangy homemade tomato sauce), calamari, chorizo, garlic prawns and side of garlic bread.
We were greeted by a very friendly waitress. She took our order and had a slight giggle at hearing my terrible pronunciation of the dishes. She then gave us a couple of bread rolls with butter as we waited for our dishes to arrive. The bread rolls looked like the ones you get from Coles. But we didn’t care, we were too hungry so we just ate them.
We waited for about 15-20 minutes for the food to arrive during which my partner had revealed to me he had no idea what the word ‘culinary’ meant – a far cry from someone who received a 99 UAI score and he just turned 20. “So do you like to eat culinary?” he asked me…I still love him.
Anyway, the food arrived. First was the patatas bravas, now, just on first glance, they didn’t look that appetising to be honest; I’ve had much better. The potatoes weren’t peeled, nor did they have that ‘bitey’ sort of ‘crunch’ to them. They were merely boiled potatoes tossed in a so-so tomato sauce. The next 3 dishes came out and I wasn’t that much more impressed than the our first dish.
The calamari in the menu was described as “cooked to perfection”. I don’t know what their definition of perfection was, but mine certainly weren’t. They were tough and rubbery and quite plain – they were just calamari rings coated in a light salt and flour mix and fried in a pan. The garlic prawns on the other hand were the hero of our otherwise lackluster meal. These were cooked to perfection and oozed of that classic garlic flavour that I love sooo much. The chorizo was great too. Even though the dish was basically chorizo sliced up and fried, it was still a satisfying and hearty dish. No matter what way chorizo is cooked, I’m going to love it. I just love chorizo!
So guys, if you have a penchant for Spanish cuisine, I don’t know if this place would be the best place to go to. I know I only had tapas, but just judging from that, there was nothing special about it. The service however was great, friendly staff and the food came out moderately quick. Gosh, just quickly reading back, I’ve started off the blog to a somewhat bleak start. The food could have been better, but you can’t guarantee top notch quality food from every restaurant, I guess. Let’s hope my next review will be much more positive!