Thursday, 22 May 2008

Girls Night Out - Enoteca and Anada

Ok … so it was a girls night out!! I finally finally made it to Enoteca. M did the whole whiney bit about “why couldn’t he come” but it was strictly no partners!!!

JD had an interview on Gertrude Street at 4, so we arranged to meet up at Enoteca round 5.

I’ve always always wanted to go here, but everytime we’ve been in the area and in the mood, the joint has been rocking the crowds so it always has been a no go.

We didn’t eat here but had a glass of wine each. Let me warn you that the drinks are not cheap. My Spanish tempranillo was $16 per glass … so its not your everyday watering hole. But you do get to try a lot of specialist deli tidbits and carefully selected European wines. The table next to us ordered the selection plate which costs $28 and there’s enough for a drinking snack for 4 people.

Make sure your wallets full when you go. I guarantee, given the ambience and quality of the produce, that you will want to stay there and keep sampling.

Here’s the Epicure review:

Their website here:

And btw, Tempranillo is my wine du jour!! Isn’t it funny how wines go through fads as well. I’m still a flag bearer for Shiraz (particularly Mitchellton 2001), but we’ve run the gamut of Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Grenache and now Tempranillo … which seems to be everyone’s wine list! We still bemoan the fact that Turra Murra is no longer … so we’re determined to find another small winery that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg … the cellar door sales at Turra were truly remarkable!!

Before I go on about Anada, let me just tell you a little about JD.

First up, we almost had our own company called JD Designs. We made a half arsed attempt at making jewellery and tizzying up bonds singlets to sell online. Oh those afternoons spent sewing buttons and threading sparkly beads … wish we had a bit of gung-honess in us. We could have become the next endless spirit of FAT .. but twas not to be.

JD and I worked at good ole HMV … oh the stories we could tell … and we’ve remained friends ever since. Too many memories to recount but we’ve been through so much. I’m rather proud of JD in an oddly paternalistic way … she’s good value as a friend and a lot of fun to be round with. She’s one of the few people I would turn up to a party with where I don’t know anyone. I wish I could say he same about M, but you know he’s too much like me in that respect.

Anyways, Anada!!

Anada is the new tapas hotspot. Along with St Jude’s, it’s the eatery everyone is buzzing about. I love how this happens in Melbourne. You just have to mention the name of the place, and you can almost hear the thrumming hum of the grapevine going, and the Chinese whispers barely audible repeatedly calling out the names … “anada … anada … st jude’s … st jude’s … mama ganoush …mama ganoush”

Ok I’m back!

We didn’t book so were lucky enough to find a spot … unfortunately it was one of those high stools … which for young nubile butts is ok .. but M would have hated it!! Oddly enough, although it looks like a small place, it didn’t really feel cramped.

As with Enoteca, wines by the glass ain’t cheap. We ordered another tempranillo, this time at $10 per glass. The menu is divided into Tapas (single serves) and Raciones (to share). As JD is a veggo, I had resigned myself to having a mainly vegetarian night with a bit of fish thrown in. However, they did have a banquet style option. So for $48 each, we got to sample about 10 different dishes as selected by the chef (i.e. whatever he/she could be arsed cooking .. haha)

The chick who took our order was excellent. She actually made sense of our silly banter and was pre-empting a lot of questions we were going to ask … now that’s fantastic and intuitive service!!! We went for the banquet with the provisor that JD was veggo, could eat fish, and that it had to have something with potatoes.

The dishes were coming it out in quick sucession. We didn’t have to wait very long between each course. Again I forgot to take some happy snaps, but we started with something cheesy for JD, and a full plump oyster for me …. Let me take a beat here … I do not like Oysters … BUT, I had this one and it was soooooo fresh and did not have that ozone-y flavour that I’m not a fan off …. But please please please don’t make me feel guilty about refusing to eat oysters from now on … this was purely a once-off in the spirit of great wine and good company. I can’t really remember all of last night’s meal, but we had a palm heart with anchovy and pickled chilli, grilled prawns, gem salad, stuffed squid, trout rissoles, minced lamb filo pastry thingy, clams in whit wine sauce, those yummy to-die-for potatoes …

The only complaint we had was that the clams were gritty. We mentioned this to our lovely waitress and she said that someone else had the same complaint too. Now my normal expectations in situations like this is “in one ear and out the other”. However when I went past the kitchen to visit the loo, I heard them talking about this and considering changing suppliers … so this is a major Big Tick from me!!!
Will definitely be back there again and soon!!

The Age Epicure review here:

Their website here:


PS ... doing this at work to celebrate the fact that the firewalls are now completely installed and configured and we're finally utilising our dedicated Optus pipe which we have been paying for for the last few months!!! God peops ... you have nfi how slow the damn system was before this.


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