27 May Bar Lourinha, Melbourne CBD
Bar Lourinha represents one of the few places where we can get a taste of Portugal right here in Melbourne. The venue is small, and space is tight. Sitting nearly elbow-to-elbow with fellow diners at the bar really enhances the warm and genial vibe.
The menu is based around small dishes, with a range of tapas and raciones to choose from to make up the meal. Their famous Yellowtail kingfish ‘pancetta’ and lemon oil is a refreshing first course. The fish is salted, spiced and left to cure before being doused in lemon oil.
Spicy house chorizo and nicola potatoes are cooked simply in red wine. The firm and creamy textures of the stretched curd, with heirloom carrots and fennel are broken up by the strong pickled flavour throughout the dish.
The spiced chickpea and spinach is surprisingly one of the highlights for me. The chickpeas retain a bit of bite, and there’s a slight citrusy tang that makes it addictive. A beautiful lamb shoulder spiced rice filled with pistachios, carrot, and carrot chips concludes the savouries. The rice is moist, and there are other crispy bits apart from the vegetable chips, providing a variety of textures to enjoy alongside the tender lamb.
We end the night with a pomegranate crema, which is firm and smooth, with crushed pistachio praline sprinkled over the top.
Just turning 10, and undergoing a recent expansion adding in a bar upstairs, the always-popular Bar Lourinha is as busy as ever and shows no sign of slowing down.
Disclaimer: I was invited to the Food Social event at Bar Lourinha as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time
37 Little Collins St
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
(03) 9663 7890