The Little Soho
There’s absolutely nothing that says “hotel restaurant” about The Little Soho on Flinders Street. Half a wild rabbit is a bold dish. So is tripe-and-trotter casserole.
The restaurant, formerly known as fine-dining establishment Decant, still operates as part of the Clarion Hotel Soho. But when Naomi Growden (Thrift Shop Bar) and chef Alfonso Ales took over in 2016, they gave it a personality all of its own, serving contemporary Spanish dishes.
Ales showcases all that his homeland has to offer, without restricting it to regions such as his native Seville. There are simple, healthy brunch options with his personal flare, such as flamenco eggs with chorizo and jamón serrano, alongside familiar favourites such as banana bread and granola.
For dinner the focus is on sharing and tapas, with plenty of seafood – such as the bacalao (salt cod) – and secondary cuts. Ales sources plenty of local produce for sustainability, but imports ingredients such as anchovies that Spain inarguably does better.
During warmer weather, the go-to order is a cocktail version of the popular Spanish drink rebujito, which combines sherry and lemonade. Otherwise, there are plenty of local and imported wines.