Tuesday, January 17, 2012

El Burro

209 Nelson Place,
VIC 3016

We'd read a bit about El Burro, and it seemed like time to try it out on a hot evening after a visit to Williamstown beach. It sits on Nelson Place in the 'historic heart' of Williamstown, not somewhere we'd eaten out before.

We visited on a Monday and found the restaurant pretty packed out at around 8:30, with the crowds perhaps drawn by the current offer of 8 tapas dishes at $8 each, which they had tweeted and facebooked about.There were a few tables outside but those were all taken so we went for one of the recently added two seater tables right by the bar. There are several Spanish touches to the decor including the tile styled pattern on the front window, the artwork and some of the chairs, which together with warm evening reminded us of trips to Madrid and Barcelona.

We ended up trying 4 of the 8 dishes on special, the first to arrive being the bravas potatoes which were a little less greasy than sometimes, which we appreciated, and came in a spicy tomato sauce, which lifted them to a new level.

Next came the arancini, beautifully presented in their mini frying pan, perfectly spherical, and golden. Breaking through the crisp coating the rice was tender and lightly pesto flavoured, rather than gluggy and too cheesy like I've sometimes come across before.

The calamari was possibly the most tender I can remember having and as with the other dishes the aioli and rocket were great and grilled lime balanced the flavours out nicely.

We are both mushroom lovers, and their flavours came through strongly in the 'Champinones' well complemented by the crumbled feta, rocket, garlic and thyme, with a white wine based sauce.

The service was fantastic, friendly, chatty with the waiters seeming to love their jobs, all this while apparently being a little overwhelmed by the extra tables which had recently been added and were mostly in use! Maybe we'd have like our first potatas more quickly, but the anticipation just made them taste better... I'm sure we will be back again!

El Burro on Urbanspoon

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