Spanish feasts are on the menu at Burnett Lane's newest restaurant — and it's serving up dishes all day long. El Matador serves Iberian-inspired breakfasts, plenty of tapas for lunch, dinner and everything in-between. And all come with drinks, naturally.
Drop by first thing for Spanish tortillas with cheese and onion crisps; corn fritters paired with wood-roasted cherry tomatoes and smashed avocado; and coal-smoked king fish topped with shaved San Simon smoked cheese. If you're looking for something sweeter, you'll find house-baked traditional Spanish breads and pastries, such as traditional shortbread and chocolate and cinnamon meringues. Cava-filled bloody marys with paprika are also on the morning lineup, should you need something stronger than a coffee.
For those heading along later in the day, expect a huge range of bite-sized selections — there's a sizeable tapas and pintxos menu, which spans everything from four types of shellfish with salmorejo, alioli and lemon; to sticky pork ribs with smoked paprika; three-cheese tarts with baby figs and honey; and Spanish favourite patatas bravas. Larger meals are also on offer, including a lamb shoulder that's smoked overnight and served with preserved lemon, sherry and rosemary, plus half a confit suckling pig that you have to order 24 hours in advance.
With the bar designed around an open kitchen, jamón and other cured meats from the humidor are also a highlight, as well as six types of Spanish cheese.
As for drinks, you can tuck into one of three sangria jugs to share, pick from classic cocktails, or opt for an array of Spanish, local and international wines and beers.
Decked out with booths and banquettes, and capable of welcoming 80 patrons at once, El Matador is the latest venture from Leo Castelluccio, who's known from Melbourne venues Cato, Graffiti Club and Bakers Gallery. He's planning to further his expansion into Brisbane, too, with a cocktail and karaoke bar in the works directly across the lane.