159 Chapel Street, Windsor (map)
When G moved to Melbourne a few months ago, she toyed with the idea of living on the North Side - looked at rental places in Fitzroy and Collingwood. But no, she chose to go South Side, and found a very cute little terrace in Windsor (guess she won't be joining the facebook group called Bitch Please... I'm from the Northern Suburbs then... but maybe she could join South of the River - the better place to live in Melbourne or The Best Looking Chicks in Melbourne live South of the Yarra).
Off-topic, I know, but what I just love is that for all three of the above facebook groups, the #1 "Related Group" is Melbourne is better than Sydney! :-)
As a Cremorne resident, I get to stay pretty neutral in the North Side vs South Side gangland wars (though does living 100m north of the Yarra technically make me North Side?)... but I was nevertheless very happy to visit G's hood the other week and check out the best tapas Windsor has to offer.
Basque was comfortable and not at all pretentious, unlike some tapas places I've been to. We liked the oh-so-romantic candlelight (helped with the digicam photos of the food!) and the guitarists strumming in the corner, softly enough so that we could hear each other and catch up on each other's stories.
The tapas we had was very nice - nothing truly ground-breaking, but then that's not what we were looking for. First up was bunuelos de manchego - house-made cheesy puffs sprinkled with paprika salt ($6). Sinful but not too oily.
Calamares a la romana - crispy fried calamari tossed with lemon, chilli, garlic and coriander ($14). Very very lemony, but I liked the touch of coriander.
Quoting from the menu verbatim: codorniz con chocolate - pan-fried quail served in a rich jus finished with sherry and chocolate ($12.50). This was probably the most interesting dish of the night for me, for the simple reason that I haven't had many savoury dishes with chocolate sauce. I liked the flavour of the bitter chocolate with the slightly gamey meat. Good beans too.
Sauteed spinach with almonds ($9). Simple, effective.
Empanada de pollo - chicken, red pepper and almond empanada with a crisp sherry pastry ($8.90). The empanada was the only slight disappointment - too much damn pastry.
We finished off with a serve of churros to share. G had never had them before, so she was in for a treat. :-)
I don't think the South Side tapas were as exciting as those I've had North Side, but hey they were perfectly tasty and the place had a great little atmosphere. Can anyone recommend any other South Side (or North Side) tapas venues (ie not in the city) that are worth a visit?