Ola Amigos… if you are anything like me (i.e. constantly watching new restaurants sprouting around Brisbane) then you would have definitely caught onto the wave of Spanish (or tapas based) restaurants around the city. One of the latest being Ole at South Bank.
I am generally quite apprehensive about tapas as you can end up spending a fortune for not much food – once bitten, twice shy and all that. So my trip to Ole started with a bit of apprehension. Luckily for me (and probably you if you are planning to visit Ole), I was very pleasantly surprised.
First tip – head there early or book if you are going on the weekend. We arrived without a reservation just before 6.00pm on a Saturday (early I know) and were seated straight away. However the joint filled up quickly and it is not a hole in the wall!
Second tip – wear something warm. Most of the tables (aside from the bar area) are outside so it can get nippy in winter. Alternatively start your meal with one of the many sherry varieties on offer. Actually on second thought, go for the latter suggestion.
We didn’t, as the 1lt Sangria for $26 caught our eyes! Again, generally not a fan as you either end up with a watered down version or terrible wine. This was neither. It has a lovely blend of spices that gave the semi cocktail a nice kick without killing the characteristics of the wine plus it poured 4 glasses, enough to keep two punters well watered during the meal.
The menu, which is divided into tapas (small plates) and raciones (slightly larger plates), was confusing… there were a lot of great sounding plates and we were struggling to take a decision. So much so that the waitress came round three times till we finally made our choice…
- Pan y Aceite de Oliva (Warm loaf of bread with olive oil)
- Calamares y Changuetes (calamari, whitebait w aioli – my first experience with whitebait. The concept of seeing the little fishes’, eyes staring me down was slightly disturbing in the past. Not anymore)
- Patatas bravas (roughly translated into yummy potatoes)
- And the star of the meal – Mejillas de Carne (beef cheeks)
OK so I realise that bread might be considered boring, however we figured that we would need something to wipe the plates so the loaf made the cut, literally. It was perfect to mop up the pedro ximenez based sauce, left over after we scoffed the tenderest beef cheeks ever – would definitely recommend this dish!
As per usual a meal is incomplete without desert (I am guilty of having 28 sweet teeth), so we shared a crema catalana, Spain’s answer to the crème brulee i.e. cold custard set around blood orange.
Surprisingly none of the dishes were small and we were well stuffed with the above. Granted, we are not big eaters, however we left with a full stomach and a relatively small dent on the credit card (all the above plus two coffees for under $80 – an amount which is becoming quite rare for good food at the moment).
Ole – definitely a goer..
PS the Paella on our neighbour’s table looked and smelt divine. I am definitely trying that next time!
07 3846 1201
Open for Breakfast on weekends, Lunch & Dinner every day!
Shop B12, Little Stanley Street, South Bank (on the Suncorp Piazza end)