There’s nothing quite like a dinner date made on a whim. Simply because you want to spend time with a loved one and you both happen to be free. In this vein, papá (for the non-Spanish readership, that means dad) and I decided to go out for a night on the town. As our Spanish surname suggests, we simply couldn’t resist the temptation of tapas and so Delicado in McMahon's Point became our final destination. Better known for its liquor store, this little haven of Spanish gems also houses a few tables for your eating pleasure. We decided to see for ourselves if their food lived up to their wine taste.
It was one of those breezy summer evenings which make you glad to live in Sydney. The sun was setting, the wine was flowing, the company was exquisite. Just off the bustling Blues Point road, Delicado provided the leafy scenery and quiet ambience most befitting a daddy-daughter dinner. The waitstaff were kind, if a little on the lax side of efficient. In a somewhat capricious mood, we were glad to have tapas on the menu and several old favourites on the list. More than any other food type, I feel tapas are an excellent way to sample many a dish without eating ten tonnes (the Spanish are clever like that). It never fails to satisfy - then again, I could be biased.
Turning to the dishes themselves, we sampled a few delights to whet our appetites. Straight out of the gate, the small bowl of pork crackling was an excellent start. With a wonderfully crisp crunch (and without breaking a tooth), this is an ideal example of getting the little things right. If you intend to serve a dish that is simple, it must be done to perfection. This is also the case for the chorizo a la plancha that we ordered. With an ample portion and a delicious chimichurri sauce, it was a delight that transported one back to Spain. Simple, delicious and showcasing the beauty of the chorizo. Nothing beats impeccable produce.
On the other hand, two dishes I found less inspiring were the salt cod croquettas and the pork empanadas. Not because of any real dissatisfaction, oh no, but purely due to the one simple yardstick by which any Spaniard should measure any and all Spanish cooking: 'Can my abuela do it better?' (NB: Abuela means grandmother) In this instance, unfortunately Delicado came up short, predominantly because my abuela is amazing and can make croquettas like no one else. This also goes for her empanada. Christmas at the Blanco residence is truly a sight to behold with all her Spanish delights but unfortunately, it means the bar is set incredibly high for establishments wishing to rise to her heights (only in my heart, of course). Regardless, the evening was still a spontaneous success. I mean, it's not fair to compare a finger painting to a Picasso and expect the same quality. The toddler did his best, Picasso is just better. (ok, now THAT was biased)
Inimitable grandmothers aside, this was a welcome slice of my second home. Although it is nothing excessively fancy, it does not claim to be so. It's a lovely setting for a casual evening with a Spanish twist. Take a loved one there, if only to give it a try (and only if restaurant Abuela is closed).