I eat out on the weekends at different restaurants and then write about them. Otherwise I am looking at art, cooking or gardening. Soon to be a blogger under food curator__ where you can have a visual feast.
Published March 22nd 2018
Authentic Sangria and Spanish Tapas
Spanish tapas and sangria to satisfy tastebuds
There is much to be said of discovering a hidden eatery that satisfies the tastebuds, gives you new flavours and leaves you wanting to tell others, and one of those gems is the GPO Postales Spanish Restaurant. Hidden on the ground level of Sydney's historic GPO Box located at No 1. Martin Place, Postales Spanish Restaurant serves an authentic and delicious presentation of Spanish cuisine.
From a selection of 23 tapas across meat, seafood or vegetarian options, to the traditional Spanish dish paella, amongst other delectable dishes of rice, seafood, meat and of course the traditional crema catalana or churros with chocolate for dessert, Postales Spanish Restaurant is a rare gem serving a taste of Spain here in Sydney. With rich flavours of saffron, paprika, tomatoes, and olive oil featured in many of the dishes, your tastebuds will be instantly transported to the Moorish and coastal regions of Spain.
Situated underground in a secluded space, Postales invites you into its warm and elegant fine dining space, with booths along the walls of the restaurant and tables in the centre, offering a combination of intimate and group dining spaces.
After a very warm and friendly welcome, I was eager to get stuck into the menu, particularly after hearing of all the tapas available and for some sangria. As someone who loves sangria, I had to try the red wine sangria, which was definitely one of my more favourite sangria mixes. It's refreshing sweetness and fruit flavours, provided a great companion to the meal ahead.
After ordering all the tapas and mains, service was great, as soon after tapas started coming out. First the waiter came with the pan de miche con aceite de oliva y aceitunas (miche bread with Spanish olives and Spanish oil). Then with one of my favourite tapas, patatas brava (hand cut fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce and aioli).
The traditional patata bravas, which are very common from Spain were basically chunky cuts of potatoes, which were soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, topped with a tomato relish and aioli. As simple as they were, there was something so comforting about this tapa.
Whilst tomatoes, paprika and saffron are common ingredients encountered in Spanish cuisine, another one of those staple ingredients to the Spanish is the cured meat, jamón serrano. Rather than ordering jamón serrano on its own or with bread, I ordered the vieiras en salsa de Pedro Ximénez (pan-fried scallops wrapped in jamón serrano served with cauliflower and blue cheese puree, pistachio crumbs and a Pedro Ximénez reduction), which had an interesting sweet and salty combination.
Another seafood tapa, which I was told to try was the pulpo a la gallega (octopus with garlic and eschallot, served with potatoes and a lemon paprika dressing). The octopus was perfectly cooked, tender yet firm, and the seasoning had the right amount of spice and flavour. this was something I'd definitely order again. The combination of thinly sliced potatoes not only complimented the texture of the octopus but absorbed the paprika and lemon.
After enjoying the pulpo a la gallega, the croquetas de bacalao (homemade salted cod croquettes served with aioli) came out and it was simply delicious. These plump finger size croquettes were crumbed and lightly fried to perfection, giving the salted cod filling the right amount of crunch and texture. Though the filling itself had so much flavour from the salted cod and it just melted in your mouth.
Whilst the tapas selection and flavours were delicious, the main meal did not disappoint. Rather than ordering the traditional and well known paella, I wanted to try another popular Spanish dish, the zarzuela de mariscos (spicy seafood stew, with prawns, fish fillet, local black mussels and clams). Similar to the Italian zuppa di pesce, the Spanish zarzuela is a dish that has not fully been realised. Though after trying it at Postales, I highly recommend the dish, particularly if you enjoy fresh seafood and a tomato base stew. Each mouthful had flavours or saffron, paprika, chilli, and garlic, topped off by the juices of the fresh seafood. The portion of the dish was also quite generous, packed with seafood and definitely a dish that could be shared.
Another wonderful choice was the carne de cerdo asada (roasted pork belly with braised cannellini beans, chorizo and preserved lemon), which my partner ordered. The pork belly was succulent and soft and was paired very well with the cannellini beans, which had chorizo through it.
As one of the many specialty restaurants located at the GPO Grand, Postales Spanish Restaurant, is definitely a restaurant that can no longer be off the radar. From the service, atmosphere to the food, everything at Postales is a wonderful experience. For enquiries and reservations, Postales can be reached by, 9229 7744, or by following the reservation link.