29 Mar Tinto, Hawthorn
Tinto sits inconspicuously in a quiet section of Burwood Road, offering the proposition of an authentic Spanish wine bar, with a focus on tapas and raciones. It’s a quaint, sophisticated space with wooden décor, including along Spanish-style bar – a warm and relaxed, yet sophisticated environment in which to enjoy Spanish share plates and a robust wine list. The restaurant is full of what seemed to be locals and it’s pumping for a Tuesday night.
Some of the tapas are eye-catching, but we have four raciones instead. The Carrilleras come with a smoked potato purée, marinated grapes, and salted nuts. The ox cheeks are ridiculously tender, and flavoursome. Unfortunately there isn’t any complementary bread provided, so we have to order some to scoop up the juices.
The Cordero is a lamb rump cap with a delicious and incredibly smokey eggplant puree, and there’s a twinge of sourness in the jus which helps to jazz things up.
Wagyu flank steak is a special for tonight, served with roasted capsicum and a white anchovy salsa. It’s cooked perfectly and features a great chargrilled crust. The white anchovy salsa was delicious, but the kitchen has been a little stingy with it and there’s not quite enough to around, which is a shame.
My favourite of the night is the Arroz ‘Tinto’ – a squid ink “paella” containing calamari, pork, sorrel, puffed wild rice, a 60/60 egg and crunchy red rice to replace the soccarat that’s normally found in a good paella cooked in a paella pan. The egg adds a slightly creamy texture, and there’s a hint of citrus. It’s a lovely combination of soft and crunchy textures, and warming and sharp flavours.
Tinto provides for all types of customers, whether they’re after fine dining, or a casual drink at the bar with some tapas.
555/557 Burwood Rd
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122
(03) 9994 3978