Tapas is the Spanish way of serving a variety of small dishes to encourage conversation and sharing between diners. Perth restaurants have recently come to embrace their own style of tapas, and there are a few new spots that do it really well.
Hestia's Cafe Restaurant claims to provide their interpretation of tapas and offers a Tapas Night every Wednesday evening. If you order four tapas plates, they'll throw in an extra one for free. You can also pair your dinner with any one of a page-long list of sangrias for only $10 more.
Diners are guided through an intimidatingly long list of tapas dishes by the chef's recommendations, which are marked with an asterisk on the menu. We settled for the Mushroom Forest*, Chilli Prawns and Chorizo*, Meatball Sliders and Crispy Chicken Thigh. We selected the Chocolate Crepe Cake, a dessert, for the fifth bonus tapas plate. This was watered down with a White Sangria and a signature Hestia's Elderflower Sangria.
The dishes were all very creatively presented and the flavours were exquisite. The chefs have clearly gone out of their way to source fresh, rich ingredients and the flavour combinations were solid. Even minor details such as the salad dressing used were spot on.
The Mushroom Forest, stuffed with Serrano ham, bacon, chives and cream cheese and cooked in Abellio Albarino white wine was the standout dish for us, begging a second serving. However, all the dishes were noteworthy and very tasty. The Elderflower Sangria was our favourite of the two sangrias ordered.
The restaurant itself, opened recently on the corner of Lake and Francis Street in Northbridge, is well-decorated, cosy and intimate. The waitstaff are extremely attentive and the service was faultless.