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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Lunch @ Sotano Wine and Tapas Bar

With Mother's Day tomorrow, we can pretty much forget about going anywhere for lunch so we've gone out today.

Our first choice was booked out so we took a chance on some place different - the very new Hilton South Wharf and their Spanish Tapas and Wine Bar called Sotano.

We decided to book, though considering we were two of only a handful of diners I think you can chance your luck.

The area surrounding the hotel is still a work in progress with roads disappearing into nothing. If you are driving here, park in Jeff's Shed near entrance 10 - it's then only a very short walk to the hotel.

Sotano© by Haalo

It is a rather stunning room.

Sotano© by Haalo

While there are some dining tables and chairs, the majority of the seating is more casual - these banquettes and sofas with what are ostensibly coffee tables.

Sotano© by Haalo
4 meter high larder - ogle some of the food you're about to eat here.

Looking at the menu, you really can't go past ordering the cured meat and cheese platters.

Sotano© by Haalo
Cured Meat Platter ($34 for selection of 7 cured meats)
Left to Right:
Top - Serrano de Trevelez - Serrano Aragon - 36 month Jomondul Iberico de Bellota
Bottom: Capocollo, Prosciutto (local), Mojama (cured Tuna), 40 month Iberico Joselito Jamon

You can select the meats yourself if you like or leave it to the staff and there are smaller sizes available (I think 4 and 6 piece options).The meats as well as the cheese are served with a large plate of breads.

Quality wise, this is spankingly fresh, sliced to order on one of those fabulous hand slicers. You'll be seriously troubled to find something better than this here in Melbourne. I must add that I think it's exceptional value.

Sotano© by Haalo
Cheese Platter ($34 for selection of 7 cheeses)
Buffalo Mozzarella - Goat Cheese - Mimolette
Camebert - Washed Rind
Roquefort - Cromwell Bishop Stilton

Once again you can select your own cheese and smaller platters are available - you also have the option for mixed meat and cheese platters.

To drink, we indulged in a jug of Sangria - these are rather large but will certainly quench that thirst.

While we really didn't need to order anything else we thought we'd sample a few dishes from the tapas menu.

Sotano© by Haalo
Patatas bravas (2.50 each)

These aren't the patatas bravas you're used to seeing. Small potatoes, hollowed out and filled with half aioli, half tomato. Very easy to eat and delicious.

Sotano© by Haalo
Gambas Ajillo/Garlic Prawns ($15)

One serving consists of 3 prawns.

Sotano© by Haalo
Razor Clams ($21)

These were pickled razor clams - served cold and served with breadsticks.

Compared to the platters, the tapas dishes didn't really impress and you'd find better dishes and much more choice elsewhere in Melbourne. I certainly wouldn't call it a "solid list".

To finish:

Sotano© by Haalo
Churros with Hot Chocolate

It's a truly beautiful space and I think once all the ancillary building is finished all the pieces will come together. While you can't fault the cured meats and cheese, the tapas section is a bit disappointing.

The details:

Sotano Wine and Tapas Bar
Hilton South Wharf
2 Convention Centre Place
South Wharf

Phone: 9027 2000

Open: Daily (Noon - 1am)


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