Añada is Spanish for ‘year’s harvest’, an apt choice of name for a restaurant with a commitment to seasonal ingredients and a constantly shifting menu.
Established by a pair of Australian Hispanophiles, previously of London’s River Café and Melbourne’s much-loved Movida, this diminutive, warmly lit venue serves Spanish-style tapas and raciones without slavishly imitating ‘traditional’ Spanish cuisine.
Añada hold two dinner sittings per evening, at 6 and 8pm, and boasts a row of comfortable leather barstools for those only looking for a quick bite or a drink. Parties of eight or more are confined to a set menu, at $50 for a generous nine courses or $65 for an extravagant 12.
The kitchen has no difficulty catering to special diets – ours was a particularly awkward party of two omnivores, two vegetarians, two pescatarians and one vegan, and all of us dined like obnoxious Saudi princelings.
Highlights include natural oysters with lemon; fried eggplant with sour cream and slivers of very hot chilli; green tomato gazpacho with cucumber and green onion; whole mackerel wrapped in vine leaves; and sweet, tender mushrooms fried in ghee.
The very large sherry list is exclusively Spanish, while almost every wine, beer and liqueur offering is either Spanish or Australian.
The service is excellent: waitstaff are both observant and knowledgeable and the restaurant abounds in thoughtful, un-showy little touches, from the tiny pots of black salt on the tables to the fresh flowers in the toilets. Intimate and stylish without preciousness, featuring an excellent menu and prices that aren’t completely beyond the reach of kids in love, it’s a perfect spot for a dinner date.