Laura and her partner Sarah are two creative foodies out to discover enticing flavours and food ideas. When they aren't tucking into their latest delicious find, they're writing, photographing and designing at www.sarahlauradesign.com
Published February 10th 2015
Unley Road's best Spanish home-style tapas and sangria
Villa 77 is a brand new Spanish home-style tapas restaurant and sangria bar located at 77 Unley Road Parkside, which opened its doors in January 2015. Food and drink is available from Tuesday to Sunday from 5.00pm onwards, but on Saturdays they open a little earlier at 4.00pm.
Villa 77 is ready to welcome you 'home'.
In an area dominated by Italian and Indian restaurants Villa 77 is a refreshing point of difference, providing simple home-style Spanish food and a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy it. Whether you're after a quick bite to eat and a few drinks with friends or a three course meal there's something for you at Villa 77. All are welcome; gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets will happily be catered for.
The owners and chef offer fantastic service and are more than happy to cater to all your needs.
Inside the decor is bright and cheerful with lots of hand-painted murals and colourful wall hangings throughout. Seating options range from standard tables to lowline leather couches or small cushioned stools perfect for casual catch-ups or relaxing after a long day at work.
Hand painted walls by the staff are a great addition around the restaurant.
Billowing coloured material from the ceiling creates a comfortable atmosphere to relax in.
Wall murals are throughout the restaurant - can you find them all?
Towards the back of the restaurant is a Gallery featuring paintings by local artists. These pieces are available for sale with prices range from $80 to $300. Villa 77 will happily display pieces from any artists so feel free to get in touch if you're looking for a new venue to showcase your work. We really liked this section of the restaurant and decided to stay in this room for the entire meal. The surrounding paintings gave a fresh and interesting spectacle to talk about during the evening.
A range of Spanish music was playing throughout our visit, from Spanish guitar pieces to modern songs and even the original Spanish version of the Macarena. Fun, upbeat and perhaps a little kitschy, it definitely added to the atmosphere in the restaurant.
Affordable artwork to mull over during a meal.
Outside there are a number of tables complete with wide umbrellas to take advantage of the fresh air or relax on a warm summers night over a jug (or two) of sangria. Four legged friends are very welcome in this area. Parking for the restaurant is available down side streets on either side, but not out the front due to the busy traffic on Unley Rd.
The outdoor seating area and opening hours.
Villa 77's menu is ideal for sharing amongst a group of friends and the chefs are more than happy to experiment or create something special and unique if required, just ask when you order. The standard menu changes every now and again as fresh produce comes into season, so you can be sure only the freshest quality ingredients are used. All ingredients are sourced from the Central Markets and are then processed in house from scratch to maximise freshness and flavour.
What would a good Spanish restaurant be without sangria? Villa 77 offers both red and white sangria which are served in gorgeous ceramic jugs full of delicious fresh fruit. We started with one of each and this was more than enough for our group to enjoy through our tapas and mains ensuring we could all drive home later.
What's better than Sangria? Having red and white sangria varieties available of course.
Our group of friends were keen to sample a few tapas to start. First up was the Patatas Bravas consisting of crispy fried potatoes with spicy tomato salsa. These delicious potato morsels were cooked perfectly with a crispy skin and soft, fluffy texture inside. The tomato salsa was indeed spicy, perhaps a bit too hot for some in our group but a great level of heat for spice lovers. The overall flavour was delicious, so much so that another plate was ordered to come out later with our mains.
Despite the spice (or perhaps because of it?), these Patatas were a favourite amongst the group.
Next we tried the Tortilla Espanola which is a traditional Spanish omelette made with sliced potato and egg. Full of flavour and a great contrast to the Patatas Bravas, it was quickly devoured by our group and was a particular favourite with our vegetarian friends.
The simplistic homestyle cooking was a nice change from usual tapas.
The Gambas Ajillo arrived next; six garlic prawns tossed with chilli, olive oil and coriander and chargrilled giving them that unmistakable flavour. This dish would be best shared between two as it's too delicious to share any further.
Charcoal infused prawns are a must.
With six people at our table we decided to order some mains and opted for both the chicken and chorizo paella and the vegetarian paella. You'll need a few friends to help devour these dishes as they are huge. Consider ordering ahead of time as the paella is made to order and will take about 20 minutes to prepare. You'll be glad you did as the wait is worth it.
The chicken and chorizo paella was bursting with flavour. The succulent pieces of chicken and grilled chorizo were perfectly matched with sauteed mushroom and sliced olives. The vegetarian paella had a milder flavour but was just as delicious, with soft capsicum, artichoke and sliced olives as well. Both dishes had a lovely soft creamy texture similar to risotto.
The chicken and paella packed a flavour punch that was worth the wait.
Vegetarians will have a fight on their hands, this paella is so good.
We're sad to say that by this time we were completely full and could not even contemplate dessert - a rarity for us. But if we'd left any room we would certainly have tried the churros, which are dusted in cinnamon and served with warm chocolate sauce.
For those wanting a birthday venue, Villa 77 does have a function room on offer to suit up to 20 guests with no venue hire fees. Just give them a call and ask for the Barcelona room and they will be more than happy to help.
We give Villa 77 4/5 Wanders for providing delicious home-style Spanish food in a fun, bright and cheerful atmosphere, and supporting local artists in their Gallery.
Where 1 Wander isn't worth getting off the couch for and 5 Wanders should leave a trail of dust in your wake: it's that good.