Meeting friends on a Thursday night for a quick bite to eat before heading off to see a concert at QPAC, it was suggested we try Granada Tapas Bar on Melbourne Street at South Brisbane.
I’d not heard of this place, had no great expectations but was so very pleasantly surprised to find a cool, casual bar with excellent service and tasty, no fuss Spanish food. In fact, the food was so good that we were disappointed to leave so quickly to get to our concert and miss out on trying the Churros and the Crema Catalana.
If you aren’t looking for it, you’d probably walk straight past without a second glance. It’s understated with dim lighting and a cool vibe. We arrived at 7pm and the bar was quiet, only a few other people. It’s a large space with high ceilings, a long bar, some high bar tables and regular dining tables.
The barman talked us through the all-Spanish wine list. The beer list is also Spanish, except for a light from Tassie. They also do Sangria, cider, sherry and two cocktails, the Margarita and the Mojito.
As we were on a tight schedule, the barman suggested tapas that would be served quickly and he was right. Service was efficient and friendly.
We started with warm crumbed green olives. They got the taste buds warmed up for Croqueta de Espinacas (spinach and goats cheese croquettes). Tasty little morsels of happiness, we followed these with Empanadilla de Carne (pastry turnovers with braised beef cheek). The shortcrust pastry was the star here, wrapped around a shredded beef mixture that perhaps could have been a little chunkier but nonetheless, they were devoured very quickly.
Calamares Fritos (Fried baby calamari with alioli and lemon). Probably the best calamari I’ve had in a long time, it was very lightly battered, tender and delicate.
Next to arrive was the Albondigas (braised pork and veal meatballs in rich tomato sauce). These were a light, almost fluffy texture, gorgeous flavour and yes the tomato sauce was rich and fragrant. This went brilliantly with the Patatas Bravas (Fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and aioli). A must have in any Spanish restaurant I think.
I think the tapas is all reasonably priced for the quality of cooking. The two most expensive dishes on the menu at $30 are the Chuletas de Cordero (Grilled lamb cutlets with roasted pumpkin, baby lentils and mojo verde) and Fideos de Mariscos (Traditional Catalonian dish of baked vermicelli pasta, prawns, calamari and mussels). Six of us ate a light meal and had a few drinks for approx $38 each. Not bad value.
Granada is the type of place that makes you want to linger. To hang out with a group of friends, have a few laughs and enjoy food and wine that won’t break the budget. We noticed a sign that said Paella Night was a Tuesday, so I think we’ll be back to give this a go, oh and of course, this time, they’ll be no missing out on those Churros with chocolate. Anyone want to join us?
154 Melbourne St, South Brisbane
Tuesday to Friday 12pm – late
Saturday 5pm – late
Sunday and Monday closed
We eventually did go back to Granada for the Tuesday night paella deal. A little disappointing. Good flavour but no crispy baked on bottom which I think is essential. Best tip, stick with the traditional Spanish tapas to share.