Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Arcadia Gastronomique {Review}

When you are working in Fitzroy North and get recommended a restaurant in Ascot Vale you take that recommendation seriously. I mean, who travels across town from foodie-centric Fitzroy to Ascot Vale?

I know, I know, I gotta stop beating up on the Vale.

Anyway, this is how I first heard about Arcadia, a lovely little Spanish restaurant on Union Road. Now long after I did a walk-by and fell in love with the wood panelling. Such a cosy little place.
Arcadia Ascot Vale review

I ended up trying it on a girl-date with the fab Carly.

When in Ascot Vale Spain you must eat tapas.

Croquetas- Jamon serrano (ham), chorizo and Manchego cheese croquettes with aoili and tomato bravas sauce.
chorizo jamon manchego croquettes arcadia
We are possibly a little spoilt in with crochettes appearing on menus city-wide stuffed with big chunks of chorizo and cheese. The consistency of these were more of a purée. Perhaps this is more traditional? They had a lovely flavour and a perfectly crunchy casing but I would have liked more texture.

Berenjena Con Queso- grilled eggplant with goats cheese and honey cane (molasses) on grilled bread
eggplant with goats cheese and honey cane arcadia ascot vale
Savoury dish of the night. A fantastic flavour combination well executed.

Crispy pork belly with apple confit (The Spanish name for this is twice as long so I'm sure there is more to it).
arcadia ascot vale
The apple confit was a little token but the pork was tender and had very minimal fat, which I like, although unusual for pork belly. Accompanied by a subtle sauce, this dish allowed the flavour of the meat to really shine without the excess stickiness that's trendy at the moment.

Banderillas- pickles brochette (cucumber, onion, red pepper, chilli and olives)
This was a bit disappointing. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, perhaps house pickled vegetables...and perhaps they were... but they tasted like someone had gone to town with the standard supermarket variety jarred veg. There was significant vinegar tang and not much else. Also the presentation was very 1980s dinner party.

I had never tried churros before, not being a huge fan of doughnuts. But after my recent successful doughnut experience I decided to see if the trend continued.
arcadia ascot vale

arcadia ascot vale
It did. Crispy fluffy spears that gave the illusion of lightness (it's all about the illusion, the hips don't know) dipped in a bittersweet chocolate sauce (that I may have lapped up with a spoon).

Carly plumped for the lemon tart (because she needed a triangle for the #FMSphotoaday prompt doncha know).
arcadia ascot vale
I scored a taste- tangy, creamy and delish.

The service was very warm and friendly. There was a slight hiccup when our side plates were cleared before the pickles arrived but it was rectified quickly, the waitress explaining it was her first week (I'm sure having two obvious bloggers snapping away at their food didn't help with nerves either).

There are a lot of tantalising options to return for; paellas, claypots and a number of dishes splashing about in Pedro Ximenez. Arcadia is also an excellent choice for a larger group or for accommodating food preferences- there are a number of vegetarian options and the menu is very clearly labelled with gluten free, dairy free and egg free choices.

Arcadia on Urbanspoon

This review was unsponsored.

1 comment:

  1. OMG put that aubergine goats cheese honey thing in my belly IMMEDIATELY! Thank you.


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