Alegrias Spanish Tapas

Tuesday
5:30pm - 10:00pm
9 332 Darling Street Balmain 2041

Features

outdoor area
prix fixe lunch
reservations recommended
good date place
Spanish

Monday and Saturday nights at Alegrias look very different to one another. On Monday it’s a quiet hang out for couples and families, with a few share plates and not much else. On Saturday there’s a steady flow of wine, sangria and croquettes; live bands; huge paella platters; and occasionally, a customer-led conga-line.

Alegrias is Balmain’s back-alley tapas restaurant. It lies hidden at the far end of Darling Street’s Institute Arcade and looks and sounds like a Spanish stereotype. There’s black and red styling, flamenco on the stereo and a kitchen full of Spanish banter we probably shouldn’t translate.

That kitchen belongs to Basque chef Victor Elcano. With a team of Spaniards from Valencia, Mallorca and Barcelona, he produces a modern style of tapas. Duck breasts are served over dehydrated and fried figs, topped with a marmalade-like sauce. Beef cheeks sit flanked by sails of chewy parmesan on a bed of carrot and tequila puree. Gazpacho comes in a cocktail glass, mixed with watermelon.

For a more old-school rendition of Spanish cuisine, look through the list of rare Spanish wines and pair with one of six different kinds of paella, including black squid ink, whole lobster and a mixed platter with pork, chicken and seafood.