Balcon is the new sister restaurant of ever-popular Tapavino, nestled among the new restaurants and bars that are cropping up on Bligh Street in the CBD.
This stylish eatery is much more spacious than Tapavino, with a sleek bar that runs down the length of the restaurant as well as an outdoor balcony space from which it draws its name, but the menu is still set up for sharing.
We kick off the tapas here with an appetising Salt Cod Cigarillo, the crispy pastry encasing a classic salt cod filling that tastes almost creamy, with plenty of garlic infused in it. It’s a great start and gets our appetites going for our other tapas.
Salt cod cigarillo, pil-pil, leek ash, $7 each
Next up, we had an interesting pinxto style skewer featuring Grilled Wild Shiitake mushrooms, which were juicy on their own and enhanced with a flavoursome prawn oil and diced prawn meat scattered on top.
Grilled wild shiitake ‘bar soriano’, prawn oil, $9 each
The Poached Octopus intrigued us when we spotted it on the menu as my dining companion has had it in Spain, and she was happy to see that Balcon’s rendition did it justice – the chunks of octopus were tender, with the potato and paprika providing the flavour hit.
Poached octopus, potato, paprika, $20
We finished off our lunch with the Dry Aged Beef Crudo off the “land” section of their menu and found that the use of thinly sliced mushroom in this dish didn’t really work with the salty slivers of beef and the chunks of manchego cheese, although all three elements on their own were fine.
Dry aged beef crudo, mushroom, manchego, $22
Don’t leave without trying Balcon’s addictive bunuelo for dessert, which are mini fried doughnut balls turbocharged with lashings of delectable dulce de leche caramel sauce and rich melted chocolate. The smell of the piping hot bunuelos coming towards your table will assure you that you’ve made the right choice.
Bunuelo, chocolate, dulce de leche, $15
All in all, Balcon by Tapavino offers up a more contemporary dining experience than its established older sister, with a classy decor and some interesting items on the tapas menu. It’s a convenient spot for a business lunch, but comes with premium pricing to match.