For Tim's birthday, I took him to dinner at Lamaro's Bodega, a Spanish and South American bar and restaurant in South Melbourne. I chose this venue after reading a review in The Age. The essence of the menu at Lamaro's Bodega is to highlight fresh local produce.
When we are seated, we are provided with some delicious bread to share, dipped in oil:
Lamaro's Bodega is about share plates, so Tim and I order some smaller dishes to share for entrée before ordering a main each.
Our first share plate was the black pudding with chickpea salad and apple ($18):
Whether or not you like this dish depends on whether or not you like blood sausage, but Tim and I both do, so it was a winner for us.
Our second share plate was a selection of grilled vegetables with hummus:
Again, this was delicious, and left plenty of room for the other courses.
We each chose a separate main. Tim selected the signature dish of suckling pig and pork gravy ($42):
I tried the crackling on top, which was super crispy and delicious.
My main was John Dory over wood with capers, lemon, olives and tomato ($43):
I found this dish a little challenging to eat, because it was a whole fish minus the head. I was also a little hesitant because the fish was very pink along the spine - I would have preferred it to be cooked a little longer. However, the overall flavours were winners.
For sides, we ordered (to share) a jacket potato ($12):
and broccoli with fontina and hazelnut ($12):
Both sides were good.
For dessert, we couldn't go past the sweet potato icecream sandwich with dulce de leche ($10):
Both pieces were included in the price. This dessert was a choux pastry éclair filled with sweet potato icecream, and topped with chocolate and a fat squirt of dulce de leche. It tasted as good as it looks.
The service was friendly and prompt, and the atmosphere was dark and smoky.
We liked Lamaro's Bodega and would go back.
273-279 Cecil Street
South Melbourne VIC
Ph: 03 9690 3737