August 21, 2009

Tapas: a selection of small dishes that, when combined and shared between friends, make a meal in themselves.

The idea sounds appealing, doesn’t it? And what’s not to love about communal dining? Everyone gets a bit of everything, no-one’s stuck with a dish they’re apathetic about and certified greedyguts gourmands like myself get a little bit more than their share, without anyone else kicking up a stink.

But I’ve never really been a fan of tapas – well, not tapas as I knew it. You know what I’m talking about – the claustrophobic basement style rooms where a costumed and corseted girl with dark hair serves too sweet sangria made of cheap red wine to the sound of a misplaced mariachi band. And the menus, filled to the hilt with the standard garlic prawns in oil, chorizo in something tomato, garlic mushrooms in oil and other (normally deep fried) bits and bobs. And all to leave, smiling warily, after an hour or two with a much lighter pocket and a craving for some late night supper.

emmilou tapas bar

So when Chris of Emmilou Tapas Bar contacted me, wondering if I’d be interested in popping by to see what was on offer, I hesitated Download free mp3. Just for a minute, and then clicked on the link to see what, indeed, was on offer. It was then that I saw the menu.

Not an oily garlic mushroom in sight. I was in.

I was exhausted when I arrived at Emmilou. Exhausted, and harried, and scattered, and uptight. I was still exhausted when the Bean & I were shown to our table, located in a cosy corner of the stone balcony under a nice warm heater and the glow of ambient light. I was still harried when we were handed the cocktail menu, sheathed in comfortably worn leather. And I was still scattered when we were asked for our drinks order.

the bright red interior

the bright red interior

The Bean looked at me. I blinked. “You’re ordering for me, aren’t you?” she asked. “Oh, yes. Right.” I replied. A pause, and my face remained blank 3d graphics card free windows 10. “How about I make something for you?” asked Joel (who is the ever-so-friendly manager at Emmilou). “What’s your poison?”

The answer to that question came easily. “Rum. Or vodka? Just not gin…” I started, and as the first word had left my lips, a delighted whoop was heard. “Rum it is! I’ll bring you something out.”


two cocktails (check menu)

Jamaican Julep $17.00 & Mestizo Mai Tai $19.00

We sip, and just like that, the world comes back into focus. He’s picked brilliantly – The Mestizo Mai Tai is right up my alley (punchy with a mellow bitterness) and as I claim it for my own (much to the Bean’s delight). She sips happily on her Jamaican Julep with its sweeter, fresher flavour declaring it “Just my kind of drink”.

While we are soaking in the surroundings, Chris Cranswick-Smith (owner and head chef of Emmilou) rocks up herunterladen. It’s something that happens frequently throughout the night – unlike most head chefs, who spend their working hours in the kitchen, Chris takes to the floor. “I still design and write the menu” he explains. “I’ve trained my guys and I knew they’ll produce the food. So now I spend most of my time out here, with the customers. I think that’s important.”

We’re in Chris’ capable hands for the first half of the evening, and after a quick chat with the boys in the kitchen, he brings out a selection of Pinchos y Picas for the Bean and I to share.

the scallops $4.00 each (check menu)

Concha de Peregrino: Seared Scallops with Whitebait Beignets and Smoked Red Pepper Oil $4.00 each

Our first plate arrives to a little gasp from the Bean. “They look so plump” she says. “How do I eat them?” We opt to try a bit of the scallop first. It is moist and firm, sweet and juicy eindrucksvoll überarbeitet für großbildschirme und deine ps3 neue app herunterladen. The sweetness of capsicum in the oil is noticeable without being overpowering and matches well with the scallop.

And the beignet! It was a sign of things to come. A whitebait fritter, but without the floury, eggy mess usually assorted with a fritter. It was crisp, salty and had a nuanced fishiness – detectable, but, again, not overpowering.

the parfait! (check menu)

Higado de Pato: Duck Liver Parfait, Fried Beetroot and Sourdough $14.00

The next dish appeared on a wooden board to a wide-eyed Bean. “Chris has had this recipe forever” Joel mentions as he places it on the table. “He stole it from a place in San Sebastian candy crush kostenlos herunterladen pc.

“What” asks the Bean, eying the board warily “is parfait?”

“Just try some.” say I.

“But… how?” she replies.

I scoop up some of the parfait with my knife, squish it against the board to collect a smattering of beetroot and smear it onto the toasts provided.

“Like that” I say.

She follows suit, and soon the table is nothing but the quiet, contented munchings of two girls who are enjoying the flavours that dance on the palate.

“If this is parfait” says the Bean “I like parfait.”

It is silky and smooth and rich and measured all at once, with a hit of salt from the toasts and a crunchy sweetness from the beetroot to balance the mouthful. “The difference” explains Chris, when we exclaim our enjoyment at him (truly, we exclaimed it – it was a little raucous of us, but we weren’t in the right frame of mind to care) “is that I use whole eggs instead of just the yolks, and I only reduce the sherry a bit – not all the way down like most recipes.”

And as I process this in my head, the Bean swipes a final bit of parfait off the plate and pops it in her mouth – grinning like the cat that got the cream emergency 4 bieberfelde mod kostenlos.

the gribiche? (check menu)

Boquerone: Gilda of White Anchovy, Olive with Cured Wild Boar and ‘Alioli’ $6.00 each

We are silent as our next plate arrives. It is long and it is black. Two toothpicks of olive / jalapeno / anchovy sit on one end and a jumble of cured wild boar sits atop a pile of toast on the other. “The Gilda”.

But suddenly, we are laughing. Hilariously. Uproariously. We shake in our seats and wipe the tears from our eyes as we try to hold the bubbles of laughter back. The Bean had, in one swift motion, emptied the skewer of its contents and started chewing with a “Ooohhh, nice!” and then a “Ohhh… ahhh…” and then, finally an “AURGH documents ipad! Spicy!” before grabbing the nearest drink available and chugging it down.

It was funny in itself – and in my mirth I, the ever-forgetful, did exactly the same.

Oh, how we laughed. We laughed as Chris explained how he cured the boar as his answer to the masses of jamon being served up around town. We giggled as he told us about the ten week long process of soaking the meat in fennel and orange and hanging in up to cure. And we may have accidentally snorted once or twice in the process – like the polished girls we are.

sardines on toast (check menu)

Sardinas: Sardines on Toast with Sweet Chilli Salsa $14.00

The laughter dissipated somewhat when the sardines on toast arrived. “Oh!” I exclaimed “I was hoping we’d get these. I love sardines.” and “Oh!” exclaimed the Bean, as these arrived “sardines are fishy.”

And sardines are fishy. But these, they were mellow. Firm. Briney. Sweet from its fishiness and then a warm afterglow of natural sweetness from the salsa.

I was sitting, munching contentedly, and mulling over the flavour when the Bean spoke up cockpit. “These were chilled out fish.” said she “But now that I’ve eaten them, I feel a bit… suspicious. Suspicious like a cat.”

And the body-shaking laughter started again.

calamari salad (check menu)

Ensalada de Chiperones: Grilled Squid, Radicchio, Morcilla and Sherry Vinaigrette $15.00

So delighted by the sampling provided by Chris were we, that we decided to add a couple of extra dishes to our table. That’s right, paid-for-by-Shez-and-the-Bean-dishes.

“The menu is split into two sections” Joel had explained earlier. “The first section, the Pinchos, are smaller dishes – about the same size you’d normally see at tapas. The tapas dishes are a little bit more substantial, and get bigger in size as you go down the page… so the last ones are like, big tapas.”

We look at each other and order some tapas.

The grilled squid salad is yet another example of carefully balanced flavours and textures. Bitter, crunchy raddichio. Sweet, tender squid. Sour vinaigrette griechische musik downloaden. Peppery leaves. Light, refreshing and more-ish.

pork belly with polenta (check menu)

Cerdo y Cebollas: Twice Cooked Pork Belly, Jerusalem Artichoke Foam, Truffle Oil and Pumpkin Seeds $25.00

The next dish, however, draws confused looks. It is a mound of beige with spots of brown – and where-oh-where is the pork?!

We fish around and oh-thank-goodness there it is. There is a layer of creamy semolina on the bottom of the dish, topped with gooey, unctuous, fatty pieces of pork belly. The jerusalem artichoke foam provides an earthy foil and the pumpkin seeds, a nutty, crunchy jolt to the other elements.

It is warm, it is hearty. We are eying dessert.

chocolate sundae $14.00

Sundae Chocolate: Warm chocolate and banana mascarpone “sundae” $14.00

There are two spoons on the table and one in the glass. And while I snap pictures, the Bean has is holding a spoon just out of the frame, ready to dig in.

“Are you done yet?” she asks, despairingly aufhebungsvertrag muster kostenlosen.

An all clear, and we are in. There is a quenelle of chocolate mousse on top. A scattered snowfall of coconut. Marscapone. Slices of ripe, firm banana. More chocolate, more marscapone. Oh, and a warm chocolate sauce over the lot of it.

We are silent. We are eating. We are making plans to come back for more.

And, as we talk about birthdays and boys and beautiful people, we hit at the bottom of the glass. And as we scrape our spoon around for that last bit of marscapone chocolate saucey goodness, the anxiety of the day has fully fallen away. And the Bean and I pay our bill, hoist ourselves up, and off into the distance for a long wander and a couple more laughs for the road.

the aftermath

the aftermath


413 Bourke Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
ph: 02 9360 6991
[email protected]
View Larger Map

Emmilou on Urbanspoon

  • #1
    August 21st, 2009

    I love this place! 2nd blog post about it haha damn I can’t believe you scored a free meal too it’s not cheap!

  • #2
    August 21st, 2009

    Food looks quite good, it shows my ignorance that I have not seen the names of half the dishes before. Where is the address! 🙂

  • #3
    August 21st, 2009

    I totally know what you mean about the oily garlic mushroom thing, I’ve had enough bad tapas to be a bit wary about it! This looks lovely though, might check it out sometime 🙂

  • #4
    August 21st, 2009

    I have had enough of bad tapas places in Sydney until the point that I stop going to tapas restaurants. This place sounds good! I may give it a try soon 🙂

  • #5
    August 21st, 2009

    love the look of the scallops! do you think this place is up there with Bodego?

  • #6
    August 22nd, 2009

    Woooo this place is on my must-go list!

  • #7
    August 23rd, 2009

    That chocolate sundae looks and sounds soooo gooodd!! I wannnntt! And I want to try wild boar hee hee Asterix style whole haha

  • #8
    August 25th, 2009

    @Lex: You knew about Emmilou and you never told me? For shame! 🙂

    @Howard: OH GOODNESS! Thanks for that. I’ve updated with the address now!

    @Steph: The Bean was similarly wary – she’s now planning for her bestie’s birthday dinner there.

    @Ellie: Oh do, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

    @Simon: Y’know, I haven’t been to Bodega. I’m not a good one for eating too early, and I’m even worse for waiting patiently in line…

    @Yas: Haha! You’ll end up eating through the entire menu!

    @FFichiban: It was a-mazing. I was contemplating another one, but really didn’t think I’d be able to fit it all in. Loved the boar as well – such a nice change from jamon.