Little Soho Cafe & Tapas Bar has been open for a while but it's time that this little hidden gem is uncovered. Tempting Palates was invited to their Media Tapeo Dinner where we went on a modern Spanish food journey. Owners Naomi Growden and Alfonso Ales have created the perfect place to experience flavoursome tapas combined with warm Spanish hospitality.
Head Chef Zachary Backs has been working under Alfonso since the days at now defunct Olea Restaurant and together they have formed a formidable team. Focusing on fresh local produce and scouring the state for the best fresh seafood and quality seasonal vegetables is their main priority to dish up flavoursome tapas. Showcasing the best tapas from all the Spanish regions including Alfonso's hometown of Seville, they have created a more modern and contemporary tapas menu that will delight your palate.
To start the evening we were served one of our favourite drinks - Sangria. And what a tasty sangria it was! Thankfully they were served in jugs for the table to share as it could have a been a messy night!
Our first dishes for the evening were the exquisite Patlin Garden Kalamata Olives with oregano and extra virgin olive oil and the Spanish Tortilla with sourdough and aioli. The perfect start to a tapas meal. The Spanish tortilla was delicious. The omelette and potato with a dollop of aioli on top was soft and creamy on the crunchy sourdough bread. A perfect start to our 9 course meal.
If there was a dish that we all went wow for then this was it - Croqetas with spiced cauliflower with cress & sour cream. They were smooth and creamy and just melted in your mouth. Together with the crunchy fried exterior these creamy delights were a highlight.
The visually stunning Smoked Port Lincoln Sardine with grilled peaches, almond ajoblanco and dried black olives were another dish that was delicious. All the elements worked perfectly together. The sardines are filleted and then smoked while the grilled peaches added a sweet element.
The Cogollos Grilled Cos Lettuce with white anchovy, black garlic, walnuts and sherry dressing was an interesting dish. There were many elements - sweet, salty, crunchy and a softness. The warm lettuce leaves were soaked in sherry giving it a tangy sweetness while the white anchovies had a lovely saltiness. The walnuts added a lovely nutty flavour and texture.
After the smaller tapas we were served the large dishes. The first being the Goolwa Pipis with smoked leek, crispy pancetta and sourdough bread. Another flavoursome tapas with fresh produce. The pipis were soft and juicy while the flavoursome broth was simply devine to dunk our sourdough bread in. This is a must dish to order when you visit.
The BBQ Kangaroo Island Pork neck with a tangy spice, pancetta and legume ragu was a nice change from all the delicious seafood tapas. The pork was tender and succulent and the drizzle of Spanish salsa verde with the legume ragu gave it a more Mediterranean flavour.
The last of the large savoury tapas was the one we were all waiting for - Mixed Local Seafood Paella with Spencer Gulf Prawns, Boston Bay mussels, Goolwa Pipis and calamari. This paella is made to order making it a little more moist than the ones you see at markets and festivals. The ingredients were all cooked perfectly and the strong seafood flavours permeated throughout the dish. It was one of the best paellas we've had and that's not difficult to say! Alfonso has brought the traditional flavours of his hometown to Adelaide with this dish.
To finish off the night our dessert was the Tarta De Santiago Cake which is a plain and lightly dense cake. Almost bread like in texture with a slight sweet taste and a dollop of cream. This was perfect to end the tapeo dinner. It wasn't overly sweet which balanced well with all the tapas dishes served yet still satisfying the sweetooths in us.
We can thoroughly recommend The Little Soho Cafe & Tapas for authentic flavoursome tapas. Alfonso and Head Chef Zachary have created a menu that will enchant you and take you on a Spanish journey. We have already told our circle of friends and are planning a return visit where we can eat and drink to our hearts content. It's always a pleasure to discover quality restaurants in Adelaide and the only thing disappointing about this place is that we didn't discover it sooner!
Where: The Little Soho Cafe & Tapas Bar 264 Flinders Street Adelaide
Open: 5:00pm Tuesday to Saturday & open from 12:00pm on Fridays (lunch & dinner).