Things started well, they accommodated our request for a lower table instead of a stools at a bar table. The specials were pointed out then bread & water were brought to the table unrequested. The bread even with balsamic and oil, I was feeling the love already.
Grilled haloumi on the specials board was a must, as was the Veal Za'tar another special. It was one of those difficult but great menus where i wanted about 2/3 of what was there even though we could really only fit in 4 dishes. The other 2 we ordered before we got too distracted was the spiced baby calamari & Moroccan lamb meatballs.
By the time we were into the first sips of our Tin Cow Pinot Noir the baby calamari hard arrived. Chunky bits of calamari covered in a tasty spiced crust of cumin & coriander it was wonderfully tender.
Although i do like a good dipping sauce and thought a good aioli wouldn't have gone astray it was the sort of great seafood that was great with a squeeze of lemon. It did come on a bed of baby rocket but as i'm just not that way inclined Mr. blue-eyes took care of that.
By the time we were fighting over the last piece of calamari the meatballs arrived.
I've had a go at making Moroccan lamb meatballs like these and mine were nearly as good as these. As the plates are tapas size in style there were just 4 meatballs (no fighting over an odd number) sitting in a juicy tomato sauce. One thing i did appreciate about this dish that although it wasn't anything fancy it was zesty & clean in its flavours. There wasn't a greasy residue left afterwards which makes a nice change from places that are heavy handed with the oil.
The Tin Cows Pinot wasn't the greatest but it served its purpose. The veal Za'atar came out and was reminiscent of kofta.There were 4 triangles of toasted bread including a green one and a dish of a very smooth baba ganouj. We quickly set about to smothering the triangles with the baba and then rolling the veal in the bread. It was a little tricky to eat but the best way to get it all happening together. There was more za'tar sprinkled about the plate so the last mouthfuls were used to mop them up. To be honest i can't recall details of the veal 'kofta' but i don't remember anything bad about them at all.
We contemplated ordering some sort of vegetable but then churros con chocolate was spotted at another table and there was no contest.
No pic of the churros, we ate them too fast. The little pot of chocolate sauce was nice and dark if a little thin. Not quite the thick custardy consistency of spanish chocolate but the churros themselves were great. Hot, fluffy and crispy with a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar .
We did consider heading upstairs the Madame Fling Flongs's which is a cosy bar with funky lounges however it was booked for someones party.
I think the bill came to around $85 which i didn't think was too bad. We weren't starving but weren't uncomfortably full. There was much more on the menu that i'd like to try. It is good to know there is a real alternative in Newtown for us to get into.
ps. apologies for the ordinary pictures from my phone. Haven't quite got a real camera sorted yet but i figured some blurry pix were better than none for the moment.