Smith Street — home to many a weird and wonderful experience and dozens of culinary delights — is where you'll find the Robert Burns Hotel. Robert Burns is the type of venue that you may have walked past many a time, mistaking it for your average corner hotel without a second glance. No one would blame you. Down the freeway end, it's closer to Officeworks than Gertrude Street, but, as it turns out, it's definitely worth a stop.
Not just your average pub, the Robert Burns Hotel is also a stunning Spanish restaurant. With Spanish accents commonplace amongst the staff who always deliver service with genuine warmth, you almost feel like you've found yourself in Barcelona. Almost. Whether you're after a small nibble or a whole meal, they've got you covered. After all, it's never a bad idea to share a plate of 36-month aged jamon Iberico ($20) or a selection of Spanish cheeses ($16.90) with a glass of vino.
If you're there for the long haul start with some garlic and chilli prawns ($18.90) or the roasted autumn vegetables served on crumbly Spanish pastry with black olive tapenade ($13.50). For the larger dishes, try the paella de marisco which is filled with prawns, calamari, mussels and clams ($25 pp) or the paella Valenciana, a mix of chicken, rabbit and vegetables ($24 pp). Separate mains see rockling fillets served with crab meat and a sweet corn creme ($23.90) as well as a range of meats, all served with a salad and sauce of your choice. Go for the rack of lamb ($30), the eye fillet ($25) or even the chef's selection sausage platter ($19.90).
It is no surprise that the wine list is heavily influenced by the Spanish regions. You might see the likes of the 2012 Marques de Alella Pansa Blanca ($12 glass; $58 bottle) or the 2011 Capcanes Mas Donis Rosat ($54 bottle). Happy hour every weekday will see the Cadenas Brut Nature Cava at $5 a glass. Bargain. If you're after a heavy beer, go for the Alhambra Reserva ($10), or the Marlen Deluxe ($9) for something lighter.
Robert Burns Hotel also has a casual front bar so whether it's a few tipples with mates, or a full Spanish affair, this Smith Street local is doing it all. They've also got an impressive lineup of events, taking you on a tour of Spain. Get amongst it.
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