A friend of mine has just bought a house in Hawthorn, so I'm busily reacquainting myself with the wonders of glenferrie road. i used to live just off glenferrie some 2 years ago, and it seems everything has changed. in a good way.
so far we've been to samurai a few times (i love this restaurant), and a new sichuan restaurant that can actually spell sichuan (instead of szechewan or whatever).
so last night we thought that wed give lulo's a go (it's next to samurai, and looks good).
the decor is nice, with a map of spain drawn onto a mirror, and nice red feature walls. the fact is, that we were there for comfort food, because the weather was typical melbourne drivel (we wouldn't have it any other way, now would we?).
this is what we got to eat:
Banderillas - skewers of olives, guindillas (mild chilli )& white anchovies- $8.00
the first tapas was very large for it's price, however the olives did not have the firm texture i was expecting. i'm not sure why, but i thought that caperberries would have fitted the bill perfectly instead of the olives, as they would have supplied a different texture, and no pit in them either!
Chorizo con Sidra - chorizo sausage sauteed with onions & apple cider -$8.50
the chorizo's in cider were good, and were tightly packed bundles of meat and spices. i liked the balance of them. i feel uncomfortable ordering chorizo, becuase, although i order them every time, i have no benchmark to judge them against. movida? barcelona? i really need to understand what good chorizo is supposed to taste like. regardless, these were nice. the cider was great, having been reduced, and was good on the chorizo and the bread we had.
roasted potatoes with peppers and olives - $12ish.
the roast potatoes were really good, and i liked the balances between the potato, pepper, and olives. the peppers worked well with the potatoes for sure.
Calamari a-la-plancha con dos aioli - grilled calamari with squid ink & garlic aioli- $20.00
the squid was tender, very tasty and fresh. i liked the main pieces a lot, however, i'm not a fan of the tentacles, so i'll leave them alone. i felt that the aioli (i think that spanish aioli is actually spelt "alioli") needed a bit more of a kick, as i love my garlic and didn't get to taste it.
Garbanzos salteados - braised chickpeas with eggplant, tomatoes & spinach - $12.00
and now, onto the dish of the night - chickpeas! these were really good and i loved the texture of the eggplant and the chickpeas, and it all worked well. i would have loved some bread to mop up the juices.
we washed it all down with some wines - an '06 auroch tempranillo that i liked the sound of, and an '06 Bodegas Crianza de Castilla Verdejo at the owner's suggestion. both of these were very good - next time i think we'll just go a bottle of the red! i loved it, yum.
a very curious thing happened however: while taking the photos the owner/manager came and asked me what the pics were for. i'm not sure if this has happened with other people and i'm not sure if there is a time or place to raise this, but the manger raised the issue of bloggers being qualified to review a restaurant while we were trying to eat. i mean really, this is my opinion, and who is better qualified to give my opinion than ME... I raised the issue that blogging is good for restaurants (in my mind) because it gives people an alternative view of the restaurant and pics. it did get me thinking though, what is the impact of blogs on restaurants? i mean, maybe ed's would have an impact, but for the average smalltime blogger i don't see what harm it could do. by the end of the night it was ok, as we chatted about other restaurants with the owner, and the truffles in tasmania, but i think that this is something that all food bloggers will come across at some time or another.
the layout of the restaurant was good. it had some hard surfaces, but was not loud and we easily sat there chatting, sucking down wines. this may change later on in the week - the owner said that mondays and tuesday are quiet, wednesday and thursdays busier, and fridays/saturdays very busy.
i liked the map drawn onto the mirrored surface, that showed the major cities. the only thing i might have done with it was perhaps add where the wines regions are to show people where each different wine comes from. that might have been a nice touch i guess in my mind.
the food was pretty good, and just what we needed on a crappy day. overall i liked this place, and will be going back to try a bit more food there. i'll even bring my camera :P