Single Girl Blogging summarises it more appropriately (and descriptively!) than I ever could, but doesn’t New Years Eve take so much effort?!
It must be one of the four signs of the ageing apocalypse, together with an unholy, yet growing, Antiques Roadshow addiction, random observations of ‘kids these days…’ and the ability to take a shirt out of the cupboard that you haven’t worn in 20 years and still look fashionable…?
It was NYE eve and we were both randomly scrolling through our Facebook feed, when one particular little entry caught our attention.
Ashmore on Bridge Street, located in the middle of Richmond village and only 5 minutes drive down the road from our place, were having a NYE tapas evening and they had a few spare seats still available. Sign me up! Sure beats sticky floors, obnoxious drunks and Justin Bieber blaring in our ears!
Ashmore have some odd opening hours, functioning as a coffee shop/cafe and providing breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea daily, but then putting their high heels on and going BYO restaurant style of a Tuesday and Wednesday evening after 6pm.
The two times we had eaten there previously we had left very satisfied, so it was with confidence of a good evening ahead that we walked through the doors and settled in for our NYE repast.
Knowing it was BYO, we took our own bottle of Clover Hill champers to accompany the meal. While it didn’t suit every dish we tried, it’s one of Tassie’s best sparkling wines and we thoroughly enjoyed it!
The menu for the evening was incredible, starting out with warm olives and home made bread, but then branching out into all sorts of diverse Spanish morsels.
Escalinada – Salad of grilled eggplant, zucchini and capsicum
Tortilla Espanola – Potato cake with slow cooked potato and onion
Bunelos(?) – Chorizo stuffed bun
Pan fried mushrooms with garlic and parsley
All very nice, but particularly the mushrooms. The chorizo stuffed bun was the biggest disappointment. It was clearly made in the traditional way, containing a large chunk of chorizo, but for me I would have preferred it roughly diced and a little more sauce (probably all massive faux pas in Spanish cuisine…but hey…).
Pan con Alioli – Baguette with aioli
Gambas al Ajillo – Garlic, chilli prawns
Almeijas al Horro – Baked, stuffed clams
Escabeche – Fried and marinated fish pieces
Again, consistently high quality, but of all things it was the aioli that blew me away (and not just because of the volume of garlic used)!! I have never tasted such a piquant, smooth and moreish aioli in all my travels. A bowl full and a loaf of bread would have been more than enough for me!
Pinchos Moranos – Lamb skewers in Moroccan spices
Lomo en Adobo – Pork marinated in paprika, cumin and garlic
Pollo con Pasas y Pinones – Chicken with pine nuts and raisins
Patatas Bravas – Pink eye wedges in a spicy tomato sauce
While still a good course, this was probably our least favourite, with the temperature of the skewers unfortunately being quite cold and the chicken being a tad dry. On the upside, the pork was delicious!
Churros con Chocolate – Fried dough in cinnamon sugar with chocolate dipping sauce
Torrijas – Cinnamon and lemon flavoured bread fingers in egg, tossed in sugar
Boy do those Spanish know how to make a killer dessert! This final course was an absolute triumph!
Churros can be quite finnicky to get right, and these were simply perfect. Crisp, crunchy shell encompassing a pillowy soft centre, together with a rich and devilishly sweet dipping sauce…how can you go wrong?!
And to top it all off there was the very French toast-ish torrijas. Again, perfect ratio of batter to bread and perfectly executed. Just stunning, and the perfect end to our last meal of 2013!
With such a fantastic array of dishes it would have been extremely easy to have an even hit-to-miss ratio. Yet the chef at Ashmore managed to keep sending out plate after plate of these incredible tapas all night long, with a remarkably high quality across the board. An admirable effort and it’s encouraged us to look at paying them another visit on one of their regular dinner evenings.
So how much did this array of food cost us? Would you believe it was only $50pp!! That’s a bargain right there.
Taste – 4/5
Menu – 5/5
Atmosphere – 3/5
Service – 5/5
Value – 5/5
Overall – 4/5