Hestia apparently is the sister of the Greek god Zeus, and seems a somewhat strange choice for the name of a Spanish themed restaurant. Anyway it is located in Northbridge at the corner of James and Francis in the place of the now closed Haweli and had been open about a week when we dropped by for lunch.
The lunch menu – termed brunch – is quite small and despite advertised as a tapas place doesn’t really hit the mark – vegetarian fritters, scrambled eggs and asparagus on toast, ham and fish croquettes, Spanish eggs, steak sandwiches, muffins and eggplant chips make up the bulk of the offerings. We decided to try Calamari a la Plancha and Tostada Abierta De Trucha Marinada – but neither plate was particularly designed to share.
The calamari came grilled on top of a slice of toasted bread, smeared with sobrasada sausage and black pudding, halved cherry tomatoes, green leaves and drizzled with lemon infused olive oil.
On ordering the calamari a request to exclude the sausages was made – and that was apparently no problem – however when it was served for some reason the kitchen had simply dropped the black pudding, the other remained – not really what was wanted. They apologised but made no more attempt to remedy the situation.
In any event the calamari was a touch undercooked and a little tough to the bite; it had reasonable flavour, and the tomatoes and leaves were fresh. It was acceptable, but hit no great heights.
The ocean trout slices again came served on toasted bread, a good amount of sliced and ripe avocado, cream cheese, a little kale, a boiled egg and sprinkled with pancetta. The fish was fresh and moist, had good flavour, and the other components supported the dish pretty well.
But really, everything seemed to be more designed for breakfast; eggs, toast – not what I am looking for at lunchtime, I’m afraid.
The evening menu sounds more promising – slow cooked crispy mushrooms, spiced tiger prawns, pork meatballs, slow cooked octopus, fried whitebait, lamb skewers. That menu also had marinated sardines and patatas bravas – surely these two at least could make the lunch menu.
Turning to the wine list, this is extremely limited – I think three sparkling, four whites and reds – most from Spain – nothing wrong with that but a Rosado would have added something to the mix – it seems to me such a missed opportunity. As well no vintages are displayed on the list – unacceptable.
The wine we tried, 2011 Zinio Semi Cianza, a mix of tempranillo and graciano was very good – light cherry coloured, aromas of sour cherry and raspberry, with some floral back notes, while the palate was medium bodied, with cherry and dark fruit flavours, with hints of vanilla and cedar. It was a lovely drink now wine.
Hestia’s is, I guess, still feeling its way, but for me the lunch menu needs a major overhaul already, and the wine list some serious work as well. This is a cut throat business and to succeed you need to stand out – at this time, they simply don’t.