Lourinha Lovin’

If eating was a sport, I would have the gold in the bag.

My rentals were recently in Melbs and so we ventured to a few of my fave places to eat as well as some new ones I haven’t tried (no Chin Chin – I was proud of myself for resisting).

On the Friday night they were here, C-Mac, myself and the rentals took on the menu of Bar Lourinha. I’m not sure who won, but it was some of the best food I’ve had in Melbourne.

Tucked away on the Paris end of Little Collins, Bar Lourinha is oh so Melbourne. I know I sound like an idiot saying that, but it’s true. I’ve always thought it’d be a really good date place…and I went with my parents…I’m so cool.

We arrived at prime time and were ushered to the oh so small waiting area to the rear of the restaurant to have a bevvie and wait for a table. Whilst waiting we ordered some olives (yum.) and a plate of Jamon Serrano…which C-Mac later admitted was his favourite dish of the evening.

We were eventually seated on the plush lounge at the front of the restaurant and mum & I took charge of the ordering…which of course means we couldn’t decide so ordered most of the menu.

First up was the special of the day, Pimientos de Padron aka spicy peppers…except there’s a catch… Most are mild, except one in about ten will pack a punch. I love my spice, but I came across one of these bad boys and it wasn’t pretty. The photo doesn’t show much but they were gooooood. Sweet yet spicy.

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Pimientos de Padron …Peppers of Padron

Next up we ordered some Coffin Bay Oysters. Straight up. No salsa, bacon, or any fancy stuff. Just the way I like them. So fresh. I find it a real challenge to find great fresh seafood in Melbs and these gave me hope! Yum, I want one now.

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Coffin Bay Oysters

It was such a great evening and the food was just lovely. Wow I sound like an old lady. But it’s true. Fantastic company and brilliant non fussy food. Next on the food extravaganza trail was another one of the specials of the evening. I can’t seem to recall exactly what was in this dish but it involved clams and speck and as the photo quality isn’t fantastic, we will just have to settle with that. The salty speck was great with the seafood, another winning combo.

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Clams, Speck…and other stuff

The atmosphere of Bar Lourinha is great and really gives a homely vibe, as if you’re sitting in Lourinha, Spain, enjoying a brilliant family meal. The noise levels can be a deterrent but I like it!

When looking back over the food, it seems we went for majority of the specials and not the items on the menu itself, but I suppose they’re specials for a reason so why not go for them! Next up we had (the special), grilled king prawns. Ermagherd (OMG). Fresh, grilled, shell and all. Amazing. Yum. I would have been happy with just a plate of these guys. I devoured the prawn. The flesh of the prawns was cooked perfectly. Just chewy, juicy and sweet. Gah I’m salivating writing this. MOVING ON!

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Grilled King Prawns

So far so good. The rentals were extremely happy with my choice of venue and I was showing them why Melbs is clearly the superior city! I must also admit, for the quality, atmosphere and service here, you would expect to pay the big bucks, but Bar Lourinha is very reasonably priced and serving sizes are very generous!

The next dish was mamma’s favourite, and it was a vegetarian dish! Comes back to what I keep ranting on about, fresh produce. There’s nothing better. This star of this dish was good old Eggplant or for you hipsters, aubergine like the colour of the hipster staple jeans. The dish was Eggplant, spiced tomato and boquerones, aka fresh anchovies. You can tell I had a hand in ordering the food with the seafood theme popping up everywhere. The eggplant was soft and seasoned well and balanced well with the salty anchovies & sweet tomato. We tried to keep this dish between Mum & I but once we started raving about it, the men swooped on it!

This is off the menu, not a special unlike most of the other dishes, and I would definitely recommend it whilst eggplants are still in season!

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Spiced Tomato, Eggplant & Boquerones

The primary stomach (you see you have a primary stomach and dessert stomach) was filling up but there was so much fantastic food around me, to stop eating would have been a crime!

You couldn’t go to a spanish restaurant and not have a Chorizo (!) so of course we had to order the Free Range chorizo dish. This massive snosage was soooo good. If there was a bread roll in the vicinity I would have made an epic sandwich. The red wine jus didn’t have a whole lot of flavour but the chorizo didn’t need much. Twas also accompanied by a humble couple of spuds.

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Free Range Chorizo, Potato & Red Wine

This was SUPPOSED to be the end of the food journey. However, there were still a couple of menu items that were way too appealing to cast aside so we added the Wagyu and Kingfish dishes to the extravaganza.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a snap of the Wagyu…probably because as soon as it was on the table it was devoured. Get the Wagyu. Right now. Go. So soft, I know people say it a lot but it melted in my mouth. Incredible. Wagyu Beef Shin…ha I was about to write Chin…Chin Chin on the brain. It’s a condition.

The final savoury dish we picked was the Yellowtail Kingfish with Lemon Oil. Nom nom nom. I’m running out of describing words aren’t I…

Super fresh, no big bang flavours, just letting the produce speak for itself which is what I love. I’ve seen Kingfish sashimi on a few menus around town and sampled it at most of them, and this would be the best for me. Even pipping Chin Chin to the post. Oh yeh I said it.

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Yellowtail Kingfish “Pancetta” with Lemon Oil

The drinks were flowing, the company was thoroughly entertaining and the second tummy was about to have a starring role. As we had decided Espresso Martinis at Siglo were a necessity post dinner, we decided to just share the Churros for a sweetener.

I was one of those kids who went bonkers for the hot cinnamon donut from Donut King. So when you put a fancy deep fried dough stick in front of me, say bye bye Churros.

Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. The chocolate wasn’t even needed in my opinion. Yummo. Wow Jess, using some fantastic vocal today…

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Churros & Chocolate Sauce

Our waiter for the evening was fantastic and I am sorry I didn’t get his name. This was my third visit to Bar Lourinha and what I love is that the service, the quality of the food and the atmosphere hasn’t changed between visits. Always such a warm, welcoming atmosphere, with a relaxed vibe that makes you want to sit there and people watch all night!

Bar Lourinha, Gracias Amigo!

9/10.

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