Guess what? I discovered the ‘thief’ who had stolen my 2007** Good Food Guide. It was Miss Maya Monkey. I showed up at her little pad (which was very nearby work). Because we hadn’t caught up at her place for quite a while, we sat and talked. When, she suddenly remembered, ‘dude! This is your Good Food Guide, isn’t it?’ and showed me my almost pristine copy that had been sitting on her shelf for almost two years. Thanks Maya. Thanks for telling me now and not during the 324734434 times we talked/had lunches/facebooked/emailed previously!
(Stolen Townbike – $16.00)
Since it was Monday night and Bar Lourinha was a short walk away we decided that it was the perfect place. We got there quite early-ish (about 7pm) and literally snagged the last two seats at the counter. Really. It was so popular people were standing around waiting for seats (they don’t take reservations for dinner). On a Monday night.
(our complimentary brown bread)
So we started with our drinks. I ordered a sweet little cocktail named Stolen Townbike. No. Not really. It wasn’t little. It was friggin’ huge. It was one of those really awesome sneaky cocktails that didn’t even taste alcoholic and then you realised you were on the floor after two of them. A fantastically refreshing cocktail. To be honest, the only flavour I could identify was Frangelico. But the rest I couldn’t. It reminded me of Summer although it was doing an excellent job of warming me up. We have resolved to go back there just for drinks but I doubt we can resist the food!
(Squid and Bread Stew – $18.00)
The food! Ah, the food was something else. Our bartender rattled off the special menu of the day. Mostly in Spanish and we never caught most of it in a noisy, crowded tapa bar. But we did hear ‘Spanish’, ‘Bread Stew’ so we decided on that.
It was the first to arrive. It was absolutely sublime. The stew was beautifully tasty. The squid was tender and the coriander finished off the flavour nicely. We were given some brown bread and butter (which we could ask for top up) and we used it to mop up the stew. The sour cream bit in the middle was awesome. Actually, we weren’t even sure it was sour cream. There was just something different about it. The stew was studded with lots of garlic slivers and it was just awesome.
(Roasted mushrooms with garlic and cream sauce – $14.00)
Our next to arrive were the mushrooms (we ended up referring to our dining out as ‘cocktail and ‘shroom night’). It was the best mushrooms I had ever had (see I’m reluctantly to say something like that. Seriously. My mother reads this blog). The mushrooms were perfectly cooked (they weren’t dry and they weren’t raw on the inside – perfect) and the garlic cream sauce was just fabul0us. Again lots of garlic. And we loved it. I never figured out what they topped it up with. Anyone knows?
(Beef pincho – $11 per skewer)
Our last was a couple of beef pincho, which were perfectly char-grilled steak cubes and topped with roasted capsicum, nuts and fresh oregano sauce. The beef was perfectly cooked though Maya thought it was slightly chewy. We were getting rather full by the time and were starting to regret ordering one skewer each rather than one to share. Strangely enough, I couldn’t work out what were the nuts on them. The texture was perfectly crunchy and nutty but they were just devoid of any particular nutty flavour. I found that strange. Not that they detracted from the dish though.
By this time we were about to crawl out and could not fit in dessert. What a shame. We’ll have to try harder next time. The next couple had some great looking churros with dulce de leche.
Bar Lourinhã, 37 Little Collins St., Melbourne
* Excuse particularly bad pictures. Lightweight like me gets drunk on one cocktail, y’know?
** I’m still on 2007 because I wasn’t here for 2008. And 2010 is going to come out soon anyway so I won’t bother with 2009. By the way, David, best secret Santa present ever still. Thanks, mate.