This article was first published on our original site MyCityLife way back on the 21st Jan 2014. It seems as though the Peasant Restaurant has since closed down. If you have any information about this restaurant and want to help us to update our info – get in touch at [email protected]
It would seem Australians have collected an obscure concept of what Spanish food really means. This may largely be due to two things: our fabulous Australian Fusion chefs taking Spanish cuisine and interpreting it to what they believe Spanish fare means, or giving in to public pressure and altering the traditional menu so our barbaric Aussie palates can handle it.
Traditionally, Spanish fare is the people’s food: down-to-earth, uncomplicated dishes based upon locally sourced and seasonal produce, perfect for sharing; with wine as an accompaniment, a must. This means bright colours and fresh flavours – and quite a bit of olive oil. The tip is to wash it all down with a beautiful Godello or Garnacha and thus break that #pomade taste away.
And since opening its doors in 2010, Peasant Restaurant – eldest sibling to sister Cabiria, younger brother Leftys and recent newborn Gordita – has interpreted Spanish cuisine to local taste. But restaurateur Jamie Webb is on a mission to fire up our tastebuds, add to our local culture and educate the BrisVegan bias of meat and three veg with the traditional #Espanol experience, all paired with quality Spanish fare and refreshed with classic red and whites. This means #stripping back to basics, and plating up traditional simple flavours – in keeping with the restaurant’s name.
From design and ambiance to the cuisine itself, rustic flavour is clear and present. Even just walking through the doors, the warm interior inspires the nostrils to search for fragrances of onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Long hardwood tables encourage the tapas experience, setting the tone for lengthy nibbling that works from impressing on first dates, to casually hanging out with mates. Or celebrate events, even taking it to the intimate and private dining room. The bar houses some very special spirits, beers and wines: Peasant’s signature red or white sangrias, Manzanilla or Veijo or Sherry Cobblers are perfect for casual drinking, though their signature hibiscus and rosehip ice tea (served over vodka) will send you into a Spanish #swoon.
The fetching artwork adds to Peasant’s peppy ambiance, but it is the menu that especially delights and enchants. Curated by Seville-born executive chef Alfonso Ales, the castellano touch is prevalent in the menu. Toasted sour dough served alongside tomato sauce and olive oil with entremés of jamon Serrana or cured tuna are a delight, with the anchovies a true revelation to this developing gustatory cell.
The #croquettes melt upon the tongue, the potatas bravas velvety to the tastebuds, and the gambas al ajillo – garlic prawns with lemon – quite the sublime treat.
The pollo al ajillo is a visual delicacy, the chicken lightly enveloped in the garlic sauce. Everything is as much a visual feast, with the fare served on optically arresting ceramic platters and bowls. And the Vilarnu Sparkling Rose or Los Navales Verdejo perfectly compliments the dishes, washing away and breaking down what could be an invasion of the slick that is on par with Spanish cookery.
Those #Spaniards: how wonderful to build eats specifically designed for wine accompaniments – no wonder they managed to conquer most of the globe. And Peasant Restaurant: what an education for the Brisvegan taste goblet. From the Iberian Peninsula to the Pyrenees and Balearic Islands, it’s a taste sensation without leaving our own backyard. Peasant has something for everyone whilst also serving up a history lesson on the ‘gourmet armada’. #Salud!
Photo Credit: Lady Lex