07 Nov El Rincon, Melbourne CBD
Melbourne’s favourite central food market is home to an array of multi-cultural cuisines, and El Rincon brings Spanish to the table. It’s part of the Queen Vic Market food court, but you won’t find bain maries here. Dishes are cooked to order, many according to family recipes, such as their grandmother’s sangria recipe which is so popular that it’s now trademarked under the Running Bull Sangria brand. It’s the sort of food the chefs grew up with back in Spain, and dishes haven’t been altered to suit the local palate, keeping in line with their philosohpy of serving authentic Spanish cuisine.
We come for a little taster of their menu, beginning with a small glass of salmorejo and a portion of Ana’s tortilla. Ana comes from Algecirashas on the Iberian Peninsula, and her tortilla contains potatoes, Spanish onions and pure olive oil cooked, cooked till golden. A potato-lover’s treat. The salmorejo, a thick tomato and bread-based purée, is smooth and goes nicely with toasted bread.
Spanish croquettes with finely chopped jamon serrano and chorizo are crunchy and creamy soft inside, though it was a little hard to see and taste the meat. The albondigas come with an almond and white wine sauce. The texture of the albondigas is one of the best I’ve had, being soft and moist with a smooth texture. They almost melt in the mouth.
Something we haven’t tried before are the sardinas fritas. Here, sardines are fried then filled with salted cod (bacalao), potatoes and marinated capsicum, then the whole thing is fried again in a thin coating of batter. Sauce on the side adds sweetness, and a single separate fried sardine provides crunch. It’s a substantial serving and an interesting eat, though a little on the fishy side.
We end on a sweet note with a smooth Spanish flan. Tapas change according to the seasons and what’s available in their pantry i.e. all the fresh produce that’s available, almost quite literally, at their doorstep. El Rincon is open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, making it convenient for whenever Spanish cravings call.
Disclaimer: I was invited to El Rincon as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
69 Victoria St
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
0421 117 777