Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bebida Bar and Cafe

325 Smith Street, Fitzroy

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday night is go out for dinner with friends. On this particular evening, we were farewelling a friend, chosen destination, Bebida.

Bebida is a lovely little place on Smith Street which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 6 days a week. The atmosphere on a Saturday night is upbeat and welcoming with some local live music on offer. We were treated to a little  banjo playing and disco ball action. An interesting combo. In such as small space, the performance was quite intimate. There is also a cozy courtyard out back with plenty of seating and a fire.

To be honest, the live music was a little bit of a surprise, we had come for the food! The tapas menu has quite a lot on offer. We chose a number of dishes to share:
  • Sugo di Bologna, Rich bolognaise sauce with fresh grated parmesan on fried polenta wedges.
  • Spanish tortilla, Traditional style with potato and onion.
  • Calamari, Pan fried salt & pepper calamari with a citrus aoli.
  • Fried Haloumi with za’atar, Pan fried cheese served with pomegranate molasses.
  • Patatas Bravas, Potatoes tossed in spicy tomato salsa.
  • Chickpea salad.
  • Russian salad.
  • Trio of dips (pea and sage, beetroot and mint and tuna wasabi) served with pide
This really was an amazing feast. One of our diners was vegetarian, which caused no problem in selecting yummy dishes. The only slightly dissapointing dish was the Spanish tortilla, which was a little bland. To pick a standout dish is almost impossible. Each one was uinque and delectable. If I had to chose a stand out, it would be the Haloumi. The texture was beautiful and the za'atar complitmented perfectly. The Sugo di Bologan was rich and morish, the calamari was soft and juicy, the salads were fresh and light and the Patatas Bravas were rich and fulfiling. I find that Patatas can occasinally be a little lacking in flavour, not in this case. In the trip of dips, the stand out was the pea and sage. I really love when you taste something new, and you are totally blown away by the flavour. The pea is creamy and the sage offers a lovely earthy undertone. In addition the the Tapas, we also had room for 2 carafs of Sangria and a dark chocolate fondue.

I would love to post some pics of the feast, but my crappy iphone wasn't up to scratch in the dim warm light.

At the end of the evening, we were pleasently suprised with a tab of just $120. I'm not sure if maybe they forgot to tally everything up, but for 2 litres of Sangria, dessert and a huge meal, this is excellent value.

On this visit I offer Bebida 16.5/20 and would gladly return!

Service- 3/5
Value for money- 5/5
Menu- 4/5
Atmosphere- 4.5/5

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