Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Argyle Bazar

A few weeks ago I went out to dinner at the Argyle Bazar and got to spend the night out with my 3 favourite things - Tom, Kini and cocktails.

Please believe me when I say I went along to dinner with good intentions in mind - not only to eat delicious food but also to actively attempt to record the meal down for you guys, in the hope of offering up a somewhat amateur but thorough review. However, due to the presence of the above trio, I was either too caught up in the food or conversation about jaffles that I didn't even get to take one photo. And so this post will be done without any of my own photographic evidence, but promise, I did go there!

Bazar is a new restaurant which is located inside the recently renovated Argle in the Rocks. It is a small and cosy yet fancy dining spot, full of zebra printed chairs, glass tables and sparkling chandeliers. Refined but not overdone, it reeks of the mis-matched, vintage inspired, feminine chic aesthetic which is all the rage these days (which I whole heartedly welcome). To put it bluntly, if you're a woman you will love it, and if you're a man, you will probably nod and agree it looks nice.


But lets get back on track here. The premise of Bazar is familiar; small sharing plates of tapas to be enjoyed with others and eaten slowly. These little tastes of Spain are offered up by that funny accented TV chef Miguel Maestre but don't let that put you off. It truly is delicious.

First up we had the Ceviche del rey de Los Peces ($17) - little shot glasses filled with cubed kingfish, laced with slivers of chilli and coriander. The best thing was the accompaniments - a smooth avocado sauce and little squares of candied sweet potato that helped cool down the heat from the chilli. It all worked together so well.


Next was the albóndigas ($17) wagyu meatballs served in a tomato 'relish' (code word for tomato sugo type sauce). These were so moist and moorish. It was impossible to stop at one, which is why we were thankful that the servings were so large!

Of course we had to order the obligatory salt and pepper calamari ($14). The calamari was meltingly tender and coated in 'Bazar's own spice mix' - whatever was in it made this sometimes bland dish into a spicy delight.

On my sisters advice we ordered the garlic Crystal Bay prawns and Spanish chorizo ($16). Thick slices of paprika spiced chorizo fried off and served with juicy prawns doused in garlic and parsley. Yum.

We also shared a plate of the Sher Wagyu roast beef tortilla ($14). Little wedges of tortilla layered with roast beef, horseradish, roasted capsicum and finished with fried capers, coriander and parsley. The tortilla was perfectly crispy and the horseradish prevented the dish from becoming too bland.

Suprisingly our next dish was our favourite - the Alcachofas Friticas ($15), deep fried crumbed artichokes served with an chunky almond and tomato salsa. This. Was. Amazing.
The tartness of the artichokes made it taste like salt and vinegar chips, but not in a bad way. The salsa was a beautiful texture and I could have gone on all night dipping the little artichokes into the thick sauce.

But wait, there's more (don't look at me like that).
For dessert we couldn't look past the Churros con Chocolate ($10), short, thick, cinnamon spiced doughnuts dipped in silky melted chocolate. A definite crowd pleaser.

Finally we ended with the Pan de Calatrava ($10), three fat squares of bread and butter pudding which was infused with thyme and citrus nectar (whatever that means) but the infusion may have been a bit weak as all I really tasted was orange zest. However, the puddings were moist and not too sweet so they won in my books!

Bazar impressed me in more ways than one. The dishes were twists on old classics but weren't too over the top wanky and I seriously do think I will go there again and just keep re-ordering the artichokes they were that good. Often I leave tapas restaurants feeling hungry, somewhat ripped off and greasy, but not this time. We left Bazar contented - our bellies full from the generous serving sizes and our smiles wide from the silly conversation that always ensues after a few potent cocktails.


Argyle Bazar - http://argylebazar.com/
18 Argyle Street, The Rocks Sydney
Open 7 Days
(02) 9247 5500

Interiors photos from - http://www.luchettikrelle.com/

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