Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tapas in Sydney

Overpriced and crap.

Is there a Tapas place that actually embodies the spirit of what tapas actually is ie cheap finger food while you drink and chat?
I don't think so. For some reason everyone thinks tapas should be overpriced and an all hoitytoity playground for self-conciously dressed people to dick swing.

Last night I went to Subsolo at 161 King St, Sydney.
$30 each got four people:
A beef skewer with 5bits. Not top grade beef. Some marinade.
A chicken skewer of 6 bits. This was quite nice.
Two very small slices of french stick.
A small bowl of salad leaves presumably so we could put meat bits on-a-bed-of salad. Also included was one half artichoke and ONE green olive.
Good sized platter of indifferent paela including 4mussels and about six prawns.
Bowl of green beans with onion.
Bowl of potatas bravas (chopped baked potato with a chili tomato sauce).

What a bunch of cheap-skates. The cheapest vegetables in the world, and not even lots of them (to paraphrase a Woody Allen joke).

As bowls were being cleared we started asking if the main was coming.
No, that was not the entree. It was the whole meal.

What sort of a tapas place does not have:
a) bowls of a variety of olives
b) bread and oil to dip it in
c) chorizo
d) mushrooms for anybody but particularly when we requested vego options.
d) something fancy that makes you go "ooh! Haven't had that before"?

I'll tell you what sort of place: a shit one.

Don't go.

Hopefully the new winebar licenses will see real tapas come to Sydney instead of this overpriced crap. It's meant to be seasonal peasant/fisherman's food you bunch of pretentious dickheads!
if you don't have salt and pepper whitebait (the fish is $6 a kilo) when it's in season then you deserve to be firebombed.

Unimpressed, Marrackville.


Zoe said...

Mr Harry, would you like to cross post this at the food blog because it is righteous.

Do please say yes.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

haven't you ever been to Miros with us in the past decade or so?

the tapas are just as good and sometimes better than wot you get travelling through Spain (so speaketh Coz and Rob and also me). we usually pay about $30-40/head to stuff ourselves stupid plus sangria - and we've never, ever been charged for all the jugs of sangria we order. and we order a lot. I have coined the term 'sangria legs' due to the unstable trip from table to toilet halfway through the meal.

even the churros are good.

only one criticism* - the interior used to be a concrete shell decorated with gorgeous Miro-esque murals. it was fucking LOUD with no soft furnishings. now there's a soft furnishing - a banquette of DOOM that you can't get out of. also, the murals have been replaced by shithouse swirls of textured paint.

do not trip in this tapas bar.

I'm amazed you haven't come with us but if not, you haven't been paying attention, dood, and next time I organise something, come and then you won't have to whinge about some white trash trendy version of what should be yummy fun. get your arse down to Liverpool St where the good stuff is.

yum. want to go right now.

* okay make it two - the toilets are dodgy tardises.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

so, also, I have to say - could you not just write off the whole tapas in Sydney thing? because it's not true... whoever booked Subsolo was just looking in the wrong place. or being a pretentious knob-head. your choice.

Zoe said...

Yeah, I liked Miro too. They give you chorizo there n all.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

it's a tough choice as to what's better - the chorizo or dipping your bread in the oil afterwards... mmmm....

anti ob said...

Well yes... and kinda.

I love Miros, and I've never even come close to leaving hungry (or sober) but it quite often doesn't leave you with much change out of $50 by the time you get the half of the drinks they charge us for. Which is fine if you were in the mood for a big meal and hungry, but sometimes it _would_ be cool to go to a tapas bar that did tapas like tapas: you order a beer, you get a saucer full of olives. Order another, it comes with some bread and cheese. A third and out come the sardines. You probably won't see anything as fiddly as patatas bravas unless you stay the whole night, but free nibblies with overpriced drinks, not necessarily a full-on meal.

Mind you, you probably _could_ do this at Miros if you just went and sat at the bar and shared a few small plates with friends... hands up whos got the willpower to do that? So maybe its self-inflicted.

The Devil Drink said...

Since when are patatas bravas fiddly antiob? They're no more fiddly than albondigas or garlic mushrooms, which should also be ticketed de rigeur in tapas degustation. Oh yeah.
Grilled octopus: now that's fiddly.
Yeah, righteous post, harry.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

*snort* Ob - nail on the head - we have NO willpower.

and with yummy food, we don't want to anyway.

also, I suspect because it's an imported cultural difference, you'll never get the real tapas experience. can you imagine if a bar in Sydney started to give free food out with every drink? you would have to pitch yourself way above the average punter in order to not have carnage and mayhem. it's an all-or-nothing sort of situation.

anti ob said...

Hey the Patatas is the easy bit... but where do you get good Bravas these days? Huh? I mean back in the bad old days you'd just grab any old Gibson in a kilt and blue warpaint and milk him of Bravas til you died, but these days you have to start from George Fuckin Bush in a flight suit with his finger on the button of a remote control, and no matter how many times you distill that you still end up with milktoast on the halfshell with a jus du' scholarship-to-Harvard-sponsored-by-granddad's-oilwell. Pheh. Smells like teen spirit really smells like. Tastes totally un-Bravisimo.

anti ob said...

"can you imagine if a bar in Sydney started to give free food out with every drink?"

Been there, done brekfast at the Red Tomato Inn in Randwick; free fried-brekfast-under-a-heatlamp with every schooner between 7 and 9 am! Guaranteed cooked fresh this week! Closed Mondays from 6-7am for the hosing out!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

eugh. I rest my case ;-)

(btw, I really hope Miros don't serve Gibson Bravas on their Patatas. Mel Milk? noooooooo. that is awful imagery Ob)

anti ob said...

I specialise in awful imagery - its a talent I've had ever since eating brekfast at the Red Tomato Inn that one time...

harry said...

"so, also, I have to say - could you not just write off the whole tapas in Sydney thing?"

Nup. My indignation entitles me to thrash about angrily like a let-go hose on full.
Eventually someone will turn off the tap.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

now there's a euphemism.

I'm not going anywhere *near* your tap.

Ella said...

Tapas Tapas Tapas

Some people get it some don't. SumBar Wine Bar + Tapas in Randwick. Go there, they get it. You want chorizo they got it. You want small food to pick up with fingers, they got it, and very reasonably priced. Olives and bread with oil etc are all there. Maybe they can franchise and we can all get one!!!! Don't write it off, the tap is still on here!!