159 Chapel St, Windsor
Basque Tapas has been serving up Spanish food since 2003 but I haven’t eaten there before other than for a quick lunchtime burger with their $10 deal. On Friday night I popped in for a late dinner. The restaurant was reasonably quiet for 9:30pm so we took a seat in the street side outdoor alcove. The menus were delivered quickly although it took quite some time for our orders to be taken.
The menu is mainly tapas but there were also a few full meals and paella to share. There were also set menus available. The tapas seemed pricey to make a meal of, so we decided to share a wild rabbit and chicken paella, and start with the black pudding pan seared with apple and sage on bread, and patatas bravas picante, which are crispy potatoes served with aioli and spicy tomato sauce.
We also ordered a bottle of the house merlot from a wine menu that seemed over-priced. On the way home I noticed the house wine was selling at $8 a bottle at the store a few shops down so the $35 they were charging seemed a bit rich, even with restaurant mark up.
Points for authenticity go to the waitress taking our order. Her Spanish accent was strong enough to make her a little difficult to understand. The staff in general were friendly and helpful.
The potatoes were nice enough and a good sized helping. Perhaps it was a stretch to describe them as crispy on the menu though. The black pudding was excellent and I’d definitely have that again (excuse it being half eaten the photo). The paella was very good although the rabbit on the bone made eating a little difficult. It was a good helping and we were too full at the end of it to consider the desserts menu. I’m sure the staff appreciated this as we were the last people in the restaurant.
Everything about Basque was satisfactory without being standout. Still, it’s probably your best option for authentic Spanish in Prahran/Windsor if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s also your only option.
217 Chapel St , Prahran
I’ve wandered past here many times but never gone in before. This time the drinks specials including $5 beers all day every day sold me on trying it for dinner. As it turns out this is a bit of a false pretense. After seeing patrons outside imbibing large glasses of Budvar, I was under the impression that this would be the beer in question, not the 300ml pot of dark lager of unknown origin that was presented. $5 a pot is not a bargain by any stretch.
Ruby Tuesdays has a street facing bar to sit at, as well as street furniture, and couches and tables inside. The decor is fairly random to say the least. Ochre coloured paint on the walls out the front, animal print panels on the roof, a blue upholstered bar, and dark tiles and mirrors on the other wall.
I grabbed a couple of the hand drawn and colourful menus from the bar. Somebody obviously likes their arts and crafts. One side listed a number of tapas style meals such as pan-fried haloumi, chili mussels, and carpaccio. The other side listed meals in four sections; pasta and risotto; mains; char-grilled beef; and salads. I went for the North Indian Chicken Curry and my friend went for the Penne Salmon and Avocado.
After we ordered, a table out on the street became available so we grabbed it. The couch style seating at the table inside was not really conducive to eating at. When the food arrived it was nicely presented. The helping of penne was large and it tasted good, although it had a slightly odd smokey taste to it. The curry however, was not a particularly large helping. On the menu it said it was served with rice, yoghurt and pappadams. When it arrived there was a small serve of rice and two unidentified globules, one orange and one grey. Possibly the orange one had some yoghurt in it but the grey one definitely wasn’t pappadams. That said, they were both quite tasty and accompanied the curry well. The curry was mild but very flavourful, and the chicken fell off the bone, however there wasn’t enough rice to go with it and I was still hungry at the end of it.
The meal and general experience was pretty good – however there was nothing special about it would have me running back here soon.
One tip, the bar/restaurant doesn’t have a toilet but instead uses the common toilet in the basement of the arcade next door. If you have to use it, be prepared to be reminded of a New York subway toilet in the mid-80s. And girls, it’s unisex so there are urinals in there that may be being used by guys. And it’s probably best not to go down there alone with the owner. He was acquitted of raping a patron in 2010 but you can’t be too careful.