PROFILED BY DEGROOTS MEDIA
Sharing food with others is a sure fire sign that you like those people. And, while the Spanish have been doing it for years, it looks like those of Balmain are all getting along rather well. La Sangria restaurant is testament to this as it is generally always packed full of locals and outer-locals hunched over their communal tapas plates. As owner and matador of the kitchen, Emilio Fernandez says, sharing is the finest way to experience a great range of unique flavours; an individual meal can often be too restrictive in this respect.
So grab your amigos and head for the lively surrounds of La Sangria where the walls are adorned with Barcelonan images and lined with Spanish wine. Tuck into a plate of calamari stuffed with beef mince, pine nuts, onion, parsley and marinara sauce or sardines with paprika and vinegar marinade. The especial platter of mixed tapas for two costs $48 and includes a terrific assortment from the selection of the day, including the flamenco fingers of pork loin rolled with cheese and breadcrumbs. Paella for two or three or more is also a big hit and comes with either prawns, chicken or, if you want to go all out, lobster and seafood. Crack open a few Mahou beers or order a carafe of the house-made sangria to complete a Spanish feast; especially if you plan on finishing decadently with a churros pastry and a cup of real Spanish hot chocolate.
Annabel Wise, June 2008