Saturday, 8 June 2013

and Pata Negra - Nedlands

Pata Negra - Nedlands

My plus one and I have a little tradition going. Whenever it is his birthday, I book us a dinner for two at a secret location. All the information he gets is the date, time and the standard of dress. He also does the same for me. A couple of weeks ago I took him to Pata Negra in Nedlands. I had been looking at the place for quiet a while and I didn't think twice about holding my plus one's birthday dinner there.

It was a Wednesday night and our dinner was book for 7. When we arrived the place only had a few other guests, but not long after the dinning room was full. There is an outdoor area behind but this wasn't in service. The dinning room is dark with copious amounts of tea light candles in orange glass containers. Mirrors positioned around the room help reflect the light. Behind the counter there is a window into the kitchen as well as a dried meat display.

The food style is tapas and you can order more food as you go, depending on how hungry you are. The food comes out in a procession in basic course format.

Smoked, spiced almonds - $6.50

Embutidos platter - $20

Manchego, jamon croqueta - $4 each

Our first round of cocktails! I can't remember what they were called but they were delicious.

The almonds were a great little starter. They have a lot of flavour but I suggest that you have a glass of water near by. They are a bit dry and went into a little coughing fit. But none the less, they are delicious. We had to go with the little ham platter (Embutidos platter) since the place is named after "black hoof" which is a type of cured ham produced mostly in Spain. The sliced ham was my favourite on the platter. It was so soft and tender. The meat in the center is little chorizo pieces, where were speckled with what looks like a lot of fat. Finally the third meat were tiny little opaque discs of hard cured meat. I had never seen cured meat like this before but it was tasty.

Some of the decor by our table

Eggplant fritters, lemon, paprika, aioli - $16

This one was on the specials board. It was a beef tangine.

Wood roasted beetroot, red onion, horseradish yoghurt - $16

The next lot of dishes which came out were all exceptional. The eggplant fritters were one of my favourite dishes of the night. They are lightly crumbed and the accompanying aioli with a fresh squeeze of lemon lightened the dish up. The tangine was very tasty and tender. It was jam packed full of flavour, like most things. Everything is very rich but not in a creamy way, just in a hearty food type of way. Perfect for a cold night. The beetroot dish was also another highlight. The flavours were intense but refreshing at the same time.

More decor.

There was orange glass everywhere.

Round two of cocktails. His was a sangria and mine was a pisco sour.

Western plains suckling pig, royal blues, wilted greens, pinenuts, currants - $55

Finally after a bit of a wait the suckling pig came out. The suckling pig was a selection of a few different cuts. There was some rib, belly and what I believe may have been hock. It was rich and warming. The currants and greens helped balance out the dish and this is something I noticed throughout all of the dishes. They had all been well balanced with ingredients which lightened the mood of the dishes.

Next stop; dessert.

Flan de neta, mandarin, youghurt cream, pistachio praline - $15.50

Cinnamon doughnuts, px ice cream, raisins - $15.50

I finished with a very cute cup of Earl Grey tea.

My plus one chose the flan and I the doughnuts. These are the only dishes we didn't share, although we did let each other taste our dishes. The sauce that went with the flan was divine and the mandarins had soaked it up, making them very tasty. The doughnuts in my dish were very plain. I think I have been spoilt by a lot of places selling churros lately. But the ice cream, oh the ice cream. It was intense. It was a little rum and raisin tasting and had a full on flavour, so i didn't mind so much the the doughnuts were bland. I just used them to scoop the ice cream up.

The meal was a little expensive, but we did eat a lot and had a few cocktails. I can see were the price goes which is important. I was paying for really good food and really good quality food at that. Unfortunately the service let the place down a little bit. At one point in the night, after we had finished a dish, we were left for quite a while with no food, no drink and even no water. We spent quite a while trying to get the attention of our waitress but in the end another waiter noticed our gestures. It is hard to be polite and gesture at the same time. I believe that if a restaurant doesn't leave a water bottle on your table and insist on pouring it for you, that they need to very vigilant to patrons water glasses. That and the length of time it took a few of the dishes to come out are my only qualms about the place. Pata Negra for me would be kept for special occasions. But that is because my budget wouldn't stretch that far too often. I would defiantly go again purely for the quality of the dishes.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

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