With its moody lighting, bistro chairs and theatrical velvet drapes, Bohemian feels more like Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris than modern-day Madrid, but that’s where the food steps in. Spanish chef Josep Espuga landed in Melbourne via San Sebastian’s two Michelin-starred Mugaritz and more recently, headed-up the kitchen at Degustation in New York’s East Village.
Here, his share-friendly tapas menu strikes a balance between the straight-up traditional (house-made chorizo and great paella the stars) and some decidedly more creative mod-Spanish angles. Think cochinillo (rich, roast suckling pig served with a sweet, creamy carrot ice-cream), sticky quail thigh ‘lollipops’ or the classic patatas bravas, reinvented here in tubular form, crispy on the outside, with a soft potato interior.
The gorgeous waterside location can be tricky to get to, but diners are rewarded with warm service, great wines and some seriously authentic Spanish fare.