The cuisine en vogue at the moment is Spanish. Everyone is going crazy for it, from sangria to chorizo, tapas to churros it's the epicurean's summer choice.
Luckily for you Melbournites you've got a plethora of choice when it comes to going out for tapas or heartier Spanish dishes. Maybe it's the warm weather or our alfresco penchant for getting together with friends for some social drinking and eating, but tapas and Melbourne go hand in hand like chilli and chocolate.
There are the obvious famed restaurants that everybody knows about; MoVida and MoVida next door (1 Hosier Lane; 9663 3038); Movida next door is the less pricey option, more gritty than its upstairs neighbour but is just as delicious and suited more for friends who want a quick nibble and drink. And now the MoVida empire has expanded with two more restaurants, MoVida Aqui and MoVida Terraza (Level 1, 500 Bourke St; 9663 3038) – there's no stopping them! We also have Anada (197 Gertrude Street; 9415 6101) who's owners used to work at MoVida and the famous Moro in London, and last but certainly not least Bar Lourinha (37 Little Collins Street; 9663 7890), the chef is Matt McConnell – do I need to say any more?! Wonderful food, great drinks list and communal dining – what could be more Spanish?
Other lesser known gems in the Melbourne Spanish food scene are:
• A Minor Place (103 Albion Street; 9384 3131); Reasonably priced, good food. Must try the French toast and garlicky white beans – yum!
• Bebida bar & café (325 Smith Street; 9419 5260); It has a loungey, relaxed vibe where you can play board games whilst you peck at some pides or meatballs.
• Birdman Eating (238 Gertrude Street; 9416 4747); They're open all day but are known for their delicious breakfasts - eggs baked with chorizo and onion jam anyone?
Sabroso (2 Gamon Street; 9689 0203); In a sleepy location but the food is anything but; chargrilled wagyu, tuna piquillos or fried manchego with a hot salsa.
• Santiago (14 Armstrong Street; 9696 8884); Look out for what's on the specials board – it's usually something tempting. Daily menu includes a classic patatas bravas and scallops with ham.
• The Collection Bar (328 Bridge Road; 9429 8333); This dark bar serves sexy tapas such as tender calamari coated in wasabi peas and lemon aioli dip or chorizo drizzled in paprika oil – sticky!