I have to admit I never knew there was a music genre, Spanish Surf Rock, but there is and it is the music sound track of choice at the latest venture from Emma Ferguson and Dan Morris, the operators of two of my favourite places in the city – No Mafia and Balthazar. Los Bravos a Spanish themed tapas bar, in the place where Comet Pizza once was in William Street, alongside the Hummus Club, opened last week and looks to be one of the absolute musts across our coming spring and summer.
The bench at the front, above William Street, is simply one of the best spots for watching Northbridge’s passing parade while sipping on a glass of something special and nibbling on some of the best tapas you could imagine.
Around the side, with wild murals looking over, is an outdoor dining and drinking area, with herb garden, while inside a spectacular bar, booths and tables and chairs with eye catching Spanish tiles perfectly capture the theme.
I have been twice in the first week and in the amazing Spanish Mackerel Mojama I have found my favourite dish of the moment – succulent cured fish served with cracked almonds, citrus and oil, it is outstanding. The bacon of the sea. Gotta get back for more….
Pickled whiting with a sprinkle of chopped chilli – salty, vinegary and zesty – another beauty.
Salted cod with juicy orange segments and chicory – excellent combo of flavours – salty, sour, sweet – and textures.
Juicy earthy roasted mushrooms are served with valdeón, the sharp Spanish blue cheese crumbled through and a rich, PX glaze – scrumptious.
And the valdeón itself along with Bread in Common bread and pear paste – what a cheese board!
Speaking of bread – you have to try some with the wonderful smoked tomato butter from local producer of artisan butters, the Homemade Kitchen. Superb.
So many more dishes to tempt, including three paella – seafood and saffron; chicken, chorizo and almonds; and mushroom and paprika.
As with all of the ventures of Emma and Dan, the wine list is top notch – and they are pushing, as they should, you to try a glass of cold Fino or Manzanilla sherry as an accompaniment to the food – this is an absolute cracker of a combination and perfect for getting the taste buds moving.
Other wines you may wish to try – a delicious Txakoli from San Sebastian, a bubbly, crisp Cava from Penedas, Cullen’s gorgeous Field Blend and Delusional Chardonnay from Margaret River legend Will Berliner and his Cloudburst label. As for reds – well don’t go past Lonely Shore Pinot from Manjimup, a ripper, and the Alfredo Maestro blend from Castille.
With Spanish music playing as a backdrop and their namesake Los Bravos’ great hit of the 60’s, Black is Black, on high rotation you will have a fantastic time. The food of chef Martin Swindells, the deft hand of manager Rachael Hughes, and the inspirational lead of Emma and Dan, all combine to make Los Bravos a bar not to be missed.