Tuesday 21 October 2008

Anada, better late than never

197 Gertrude St, Fitzroy (map)
9415 6101


My write-up of dinner at Anada has been on the back-burner for way too long, and I've been procrastinating mainly because I'm dissatisfied with the photos of the food... whilst the low low lighting was most atmospheric on the night in question, it makes for lousy camera work on my part, I'm afraid (despite A's best efforts to help by strategically placing our tealight candle next to each plate!).

Anada had been on my radar ever since it opened in February, but it was Lucy's and Duncan's suggestions following my write-up of Basque that were my catalyst for finally making a booking. I went there on a night out with the very charming A, after we'd seen a film up at the Westgarth. Rocking up at Anada after 9pm on a Wednesday night, we got the last available table for two.


The last time A and I had gone out together, we went completely over the top with ordering at Cumulus Inc, so had strictly promised each other that we'd behave this time. We started with a selection of tapas: St Helen's oysters with lemon ($3.70 each); a Marion Bay scallop with Iberico Jamon migas ($5.50), fried piquillo pepper stuffed with surf clams and coriander ($5.50); and a Western plains lamb cutlet with red Asturias anchovy and olive garum ($6). All good, especially the olive encrusted lamb cutlet and the ginormous oysters.

St Helen's (Tasmania) oysters with lemonMarion Bay scallop with Jamon Iberico migas
Western plains lamb cutlet with red Asturias anchovy and olive garumFried piquillo pepper stuffed with surf clams and coriander

But my favourite of the savoury dishes has to be the first of the raciones we tried, the bottarga with organic avocado and horseradish labneh ($18). Such a great combination of flavours - the sharp horseradish in the creamy labneh, the delicately cured mullet roe with the bursting-with-flavour avocado - we both loved it.

Bottarga (imported cured mullet roe) with organic avocado and horseradish labne

We were also pretty happy with the slow cooked South Western Highland pork belly in fennel seeds with smoky eggplant ($17.50) and the charcoal grilled savoy cabbage with aged cabernet sauvignon vinegar and black salt ($9), particularly the latter. The prices are very reasonable given the quality of food on offer - with the exception of the paella, all of the raciones are less than $20 each, which makes it slightly cheaper than Movida, an alma mater for both halves of the couple behind Anada. Not only is it cheaper than Movida, I found the staff at Anada to be friendlier and more down-to-earth.

Slow cooked South Western Highland pork belly in fennel seeds with smoky eggplantCharcoal grilled savoy cabbage

As well as this fancy mineral water, we each had a glass of Albariño then shared a bottle of the Artazuri Rosado de Garnacha 2006 (read a review of the rose from the excellent Melbourne-based Spanish wine blog Tinto y Blanco here).


We decided to finish off with two shared desserts: the crème Catalan ($9.50) and the pomegranate and orange blossom sorbet with sugared pistachios ($8.50). They turned out to be a great match - smooth creaminess versus pomegranate seed studded sorbet. I'd consider going back there just for these desserts.

Pomegranate and orange blossom sorbet with sugared pistachios

Very happy indeed with Anada! Now that best-friend-K is back in town I will be revisiting shortly. :)


Cindy said...

Ah, we have an Anada post waiting in the wings too! This must be our just desserts for pipping you to the Interlude post last year. :-)

Speaking of desserts, it looks like Anada must change them around often because I don't remember seeing that sorbet on the menu when I was there. All the more reason to go back regularly, right?

Anonymous said...

Great review! They do seem to change the menu around so I must go back too.

Bridie said...

I went there at the start of the year - very excited about it opening - and had the worst experience EVER. They were booked out and said just turn up for their unreserved tables and when we got there, they said half an hour wait which was totally fine and took my mobile number. We went off for a drink at a near by bar and nearly an hour later I went back and they said it would be another hour! By then it would have been well after 9pm. The waitress was really rude and completely unhelpful and didn't even apologise. I emailed them the next day with my 'helpful feedback' and the owner was equally as rude. Will never attempt to go back no matter what the food is like :( 0/10