Simply Spanish South Melbourne
South Melbourne Market, 116 Cecil Street, South Melbourne
03 9682 6100
- Traditional Valenciana Paella
- Lentil Salad With Promegranate Seeds
- Chocolate Churros
Given that we were in for a relative long wait for their specialty paella, we opted for dessert before mains, and damn was that a good choice.
The Churros were fresh out of the fryer. Dusted with an abudance of icing sugar, the crunchy outer of the churros enclosed a soft fluffy inner. Dipping each long stick into the thick, gooey chocolate sauce added extra flavour, and was definitely a delicious sweet treat.
After some time, the Traditional Valencia Paella finally arrived at our table and what a sight it was! Piled full of ingredients, the big pan of paella was filled to the brim with some of the most vibrant colours ever.
Digging into the pan, each spoonful was filled with perfectly cooked rice that was just the right softness without being mushy. This was well accompanied by an abudnace of tender rabbit meat, which admittedly tasted a lot like chicken.
The chicken bits came whole, with bone and all, to give it the 'traditional' feel, and the slight charring on the outer provided a nice crunch with each piece.
Accompanying this massive Paella was the Lentil Salad. Cold and slightly tangy, this salad contrasted the hearty paella rather well. The highlight though of course were promegranate seeds, within which provided bursts of sweetness.
While I don't usually love snails, the ones presented within the Paella were mediocre at best. Contrasting the big, richly flavoured escargots I've previously sampled, the snails here had tiny amounts of protein within and was exceedingly chewey. Not helped by the fishy sensation, as opposed to being earthy, the Paella was definitely let down by this component.
Being adventurous and trying out this traditional rendition proved to be rather interesting, and provided an intriguing look into the variety of ingredients that went into authentic, traditional paellas. No you don't get huge chunks of meat, or fatty, spicy chorizo. What you do get though is delicious a mix of wholesome produce to reproduce what a traditional paella was like.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Definitely. Simply Spanish remains one of my favourite Spanish restaurants in Melbourne, and I'd happily be back for more. Any day of the week.