PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
The appeal of Tranquilo lies in its genuine warmth. It comes with an unspoken guarantee that whether you are enjoying a morning coffee outside, Friday evening dinner in or weekend breakfast, you will feel like a part of this hills community. Locals such as the Labrador-able Chester, with fur as warm brown as Stirling's famed autumn leaves, can be seen lapping up his treats – and all the attention from fellow alfresco diners. He is greeted by staff with the same cheeriness, they show their two-legged customers. Owners Michael Davies and Matt Smith have a crew not unlike themselves – young, good-looking professionals. Their other partner, Steve Golding, is Tranquilo's chef. His dishes are an eclectic mix of the Mediterranean, Asia and Oz.
The tapas platter with grilled chorizo, baby octopus and cheese quesadilla (to name a few) makes for nice grazing. Prosciutto-wrapped pork skewers glisten with porcini butter and arrive on an auburgine and tomato salsa. The specials board offers novel sounding "Americano pork ribs with a face covering of BBQ sauce". Steve's seafood paella really stands out. Served in a tagine, it comes packed with prawns, squid, barramundi and mussels in saffron-spiced sofrito. Dessert wise, a hot Belgian sugar waffle with wild berry compote and Madagascan vanilla bean ice-cream catches the eye. As for coffee, this is where the character of Tranquilo really kicks in. Michael's love of the bean has driven his desire for his clientele to have the best experience of it. So a serious section of the menu is dedicated to it. You get the rub on its history, a legend involving euphoric dancing goats and even the local Lobethal cows employed to come up with the goods for Tranquilo's java. Barista Evan Le Duff even runs features on single origin beans from around the globe to keep his regulars on their toes.