What is it? The hidden depths of this chic new eatery contain a DJ lounge, front bar, open kitchen with long chef’s table and a second intimate eating area, all decked out with cool lighting and comfy seating.
The food of España: Zafran’s Executive Chef, Marc Lores Panades, cooks and entertains from his show kitchen with typical Latin gusto, producing appetising masterpieces while answering his curious diners’ questions from their counter dining perches. His chorizo ($88) and black pudding are both made in-house and are a triumph of simplicity, while his scallop dish with Barcelona artichokes and salt cod cauliflower cake ($118) are highly decorated dishes with more styling than a US Marine. Not usually impressed by overly fussed food, the taste of both these dishes was a triumph that overwhelmed both the eyes and the palate. Spain’s version of surf and turf – the sea cucumber and Ibérico ham – was a chewy and fibrous endeavour, while the suckling pig ($170) was just the right amount of crispy and fatty. All the typical tapas fare you would expect are also on the menu, from patatas bravas ($78) to ham croquettes ($88).
Say what? Just as our stomachs threatened to burst, dessert was served. A fried breakfast sat in the skillet in front of us looking like the last thing in the world we wanted to eat at that moment. But a brave first spoonful unearthed that the French fries were in fact pineapple sticks doused with raspberry coulis rather than ketchup, and the apparent black pudding was a chocolate brownie in disguise. The fried egg revealed itself to be a delicious sorbet. This creative and pleasurable dessert both messed with our minds and delighted our taste buds.
Zafran, B/F, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central, 2116 8855