Murmur bar is in Warburton lane, off Little Bourke. It is a small space and I like the decor. I was there having a pre-dinner drink with The Kiwi and KD before we headed downstairs to Portello Rosso.
Both The Kiwi and KD had an amaretto sour, while I told the bartender to surprise me with a cocktail. Murmur has an eclectic cocktail list and I wasn’t in the mood to read all the descriptions and make a decision. I told the bartender what spirits I liked and that I didn’t like mint. He asked if I liked lime, I answered in the affirmative and he said he would bring something over.
We settled in at some low couches in the corner and started catching up.
I don’t know the name of the cocktail I got, but it definitely had tequila and lime in it, and the bartender said it was his favourite. It is pictured on the right, in the martini glass and one of the amaretto sours is on the left.
I only spent an hour in Murmur bit I liked it, I thought the bartender was really good, and I would definitely go back.
We then went downstairs and next door, to Portello Rosso.
Portello Rosso is a tapas and jamon bar that does an “honest and passionate interpretation of the Spanish way of dining and drinking: shared plates, fresh produce, wines from Spain, Australia and around the world, Sherry, Sidra, Raciones and succulent slices of Jamón, all tied together with relaxed yet professional service.”
We were shown to a table that was right next to the only other customer in the place. A bit frustrating but probably more so for him, as he had to listen to us chatter away while he was trying to read on his kindle!
On the other side there was an open window, which we were going to ask to be shut as it was a bit chilly but we soon warmed up, and I think it was actually closed at some stage during our meal. The warm bread is set under the window and the smell kept wafting over to us.
The restaurant is quite small but well lit and decorated with Spanish bits and pieces. There is also balcony seating upstairs.
We perused the menu which was divided into five sections; pequenos (small bites), mediano (larger dishes), paella, charcuterie and postres (desserts).
We eventually ordered and started with the tortillas (Spanish style frittatas).
Tasty and filling, and I didn’t think it needed the relish.
Next was the chickpea, corn and manchengo cheese fritters. These were a special on the day.
Unfortunately they were dry and crumbly. I could taste the cheese in my first two bites but not after that. The yoghurt was really needed to make these palatable. These were everyone’s least favourite dish of the night.
We then had the chorizo dish which was imported Spanish chorizo glazed with honey and served with cherry tomatoes.
I really liked these. The acidity from the tomatoes cut through the sweetness of the honey and the chorizo was well cooked and not greasy.
We had the patatas bravas (crispy potato dusted in sweet smoked paprika with spiced tomato sace and aioil) and the albondigas (beef and mint meatballs in a chunky tomato salsa).
Loved the potatoes. There was a good mix of crunchy smaller pieces and larger ones with a soft fluffy filling. They smelt fantastic too.
The meatballs were good too, maybe a tiny bit on the dry side but that was offset by the sauce. A bite of the meatball with a bit of potato was an excellent combination.
We were pleasantly full but decided we should definitely have a look at the dessert menu.
KD instantly decided on the arroz con leche (creamed rice pudding served warm with pistachio ice -cream).
I wasn’t really feeling like dessert, and neither was The Kiwi, but I mentioned if I was going to have anything it would be the spiced chocolate pudding with Pedro Ximinez ice-cream. The Kiwi said that would be the dessert she would order as well. I suggested we share one, she took about 2 seconds to agree! Done.
The menu says to allow 15 minutes for the pudding. It actually took us 35 minutes to get dessert. Overall the service had been really good up until now.
The rice pudding:
I love how this dessert was served.
The chocolate pudding:
An excellent chocolate pudding and The Kiwi said this was her favourite dish of the night. The spice was great, it gave the dessert a kick and was something different and was almost at the overpowering stage but not quite, it was very well done.
The Kiwi and KD had also ordered teas, bu they didn’t arrive until after the desserts had been eaten. We had actually decided to get the bill and not worry about the teas but then they turned up.
Overall we were happy with our evening at Portello Rosso and agreed we would go back.