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.
34 Chapel St, Windsor
To be honest we only walked in here by accident, but when we got in there and realised we were the only potential customers in the place I felt too bad to leave. Montrose 1887, has only been open a couple of months, not 127 years as the name might suggest, so now seemed like as good a time as any to review it.
The reno since it was Dino’s Cafe has been done tastefully although I had to hold myself back from going on a light bulb smashing rampage as yet another restaurant has gone down the naked Edison bulb path of lighting. Is there no creative lighting left? I can’t remember the last time I reviewed a place that didn’t have these lights.
Given we were the only customers in there, we took our pick of the many tables available and took one near the entrance. The staff were very attentive, as you would hope given the situation. The menus we were given were broken up into tapas, mains and a couple of desserts and we decided to try a couple of the tapas items each. We ordered the saffron chilli chicken pinchos with lime tomatillo salsa, the butterflied local prawns in a sizzling jerk sauce, the tostaditas with pulled pork, guacamole, enoki mushrooms, pickled carrots and salsa, and the yucca croquettes with mojo.
The food was presented very nicely – and I’d love to show you nice photos of it, but even though we were sitting directly under 3 light bulbs, they failed to give off enough light to get a decent photo. The croquettes were served in a mini deep-frying basket and cut to look like fat chips. They were crispy and delicious. The chicken skewers were okay but being cut from breast they were a little dry. The prawns were very nice as was the jerk sauce. I think I actually finished them without making any jerk sauce jokes too which was a pretty good effort. The tostaditas looked a picture and were a great flavour combination.
A couple of tapas each was not particularly filling but it’d be an expensive exercise to try to satisfy a big hunger here. Luckily there is a pizza joint over the road so I got a large Windsor Classico on the way home.
Special mention must go to the bathroom decor though. Although the restaurant lighting may be passé, it’s the first time I’ve seen a massive bouy in a bathroom (except for that incident at Summadayze 2006). I was very tempted to climb up on it Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball style. And who doesn’t love a talking penis poster?
All in all though, it’s definitely worth sticking your head into this cafe located directly over the road from Windsor Station. Hopefully it’ll be a bit busier when you visit.