15 Aug Crabapple Kitchen, Hawthorn
With a fortnightly rotating menu featuring a different cuisine each time, Crabapple Kitchen’s Friday Night Flights have been something I’ve been wanting to try for a looong time. Sadly, after I missed out on Valencia in March, which included both paella AND arroz negra, I’ve been waiting for another Spanish flight and there happened to be one scheduled (a few weeks) after my birthday! The multi-course dinner is $45 and the beverage package (a cocktail and two glasses of wine) can be added on for another $35. Their flight schedule all the way up to January is available on their website. Today’s journey consisted of five courses, with the first three coming out ‘tapas style’ as they were ready.
I was surprised at how much space there was inside. The deceivingly small shop front is actually a facade for quite a long (and relatively narrow) dining area. Counter seats took up the front half of the cafe together with the coffee machine/wine bar and quirky framed photo display along the wall. Further in was the carpeted table seating area complete with paintings and a fireplace.
First to touchdown was the escalivada – smooth and smokey grilled vegetables on soft, charred bread. The vegetables on top were some of my favourites so this got a big tick from me.
The sardine escabeche and croquetas de gambas arrived together soon after. Unfortunately the flavours of the sardine didn’t quite stand out, particularly after eating the escalivada. Perhaps I should have eaten the sardines first. Crunchy and plump, the croquetas were a guilty pleasure, especially with the saffron aioli and a light sprinkle of pink salt.
The estofado de vaca a la Catalana was a hearty stew perfect for the weather, with a depth of flavour that was very satisfying indeed.
Saving the best till last, the fideua was scrumptious. Pasta, seafood, aioli and prawns were mixed together into mouthfuls of deliciousness that made a wonderful end to the meal.
Crabapple Kitchen offered 5 great courses for $45. I thought it was excellent value and am excited to see what destination menus will be on offer in the future!
659 Glenferrie Rd
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122
(03) 9078 5492