If you're looking for a Spanish and Portuguese restaurant in Sydney with classy but cozy ambience, gastronomically-satisfying food with reasonable prices and great service, I would highly recommend Subsolo Spanish Resto and Bar to you. (Note: "Subsolo" means "basement" in Portuguese)
The space is very welcoming with a variety of tables ranging from bar space to private areas. Has a New York-meets-Barcelona vibe with sultry red and brown interiors.
Location: Unassuming and can be easily missed as it is in the basement of a building. However, never underestimate the district in which its situated as Chanel and Louis Vuitton surrounds this underground space.
Since we're a group, we were given a table at the far end of the room with curtains from each of our sides to give us a bit of privacy (see curtain on the photo below).
It can be dark for taking photographs but it's a beautiful place to bring a date with it's romantic and warm lighting.
Above our table is a chandelier--i love it! So stylish and glamourous.
I started the night with a glass of Sangria (AUD$15.00/glass) while we waited for friends to arrive. Unlike other Spanish restos, Subsolo only serve their Sangria in big wine glasses--it's really big (good enough to share), hence the price. Their Sangria's refreshing and a bit strong compared to other Sangrias I've drank before. I'm fascinated that they added a Star Anise to their Sangria, made it more tasty.
Then came the tapas we ordered:
Zucchini Flowers filled with three Spanish Cheeses (AUD$24.00/entree). My first time to try these tapas. It's crunchy and the minute you cut the Zucchini Flowers in two, cheese overflowed. If you love cheese, you can never go wrong with these.
Chicken Chorizo with Caramelised Eschallots (AUD$20.00/entree). Chorizo is one of my favorite tapas in any Spanish resto. I never fail to order these. Their Chicken Chorizo was uniquely sweet as they caramelised eschallots in order for the chorizos to have their own sauce. I love it! (Usually, chorizos swam in just oil in other Spanish restos) We had two orders of these which only showed how much we liked it.
Crunchy Bacalao (Salt-Cod) Croquettes on Aioli (AUD$24.00/entree). This one is divine. Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside (yes, just like the TV ad). At first bite, I almost forgot that it was fish inside the croquette. You can taste the fish but it's not overpowering.
Paprika Salt and Pepper Squid with Saffron Mayonnaise (AUD$21.00/entree). Soft, easy-to-bite and fresh.
Paella Valenciana with Chicken, Pork Chorizo and Seafood (AUD$39.00). Visually beautiful, the chicken, chorizo and mussels were arranged to entice one's appetite. The mussels, and to my surprise, scallops tasted fresh and the pork chorizo were exquisite.
Just a tip: Cooking the Paella takes 40 minutes so if you know that you'd like to eat Paella, order it as soon as you come in to save you time from waiting.
Churros filled with Dulce de Leche, Spanish Chocolate Sauce and Honey Nougat Ice Cream (AUD$16.00). An amazing dessert, I swear this is to-die-for. Usually the thing to look out for when ordering Churros is the chocolate dip. But the Churros in Subsolo had something more than the delicious chocolate dip. The Churros had Dulce de Leche filling!!!!! It was sooooo yummy. And the siding was not just an ordinary ice cream--it was Nougat Ice Cream. So so wonderful to the palate. Truly, the grand finale of our dinner.
It was one great meal enjoyed in the company of good friends. I will be coming back here soon to have a taste of their Pork Chorizos and Portuguese Espetadas (Charcoal Spit-Roasted Skewers).
I would also like to commend their customer service. I made reservations via email and they replied the same day. I asked a few questions and they were very accommodating. They also called me two hours before our reservation to make sure that everything is set. Our host during dinner was very friendly who even cracked jokes while he served us.
Subsolo Spanish Resto and Bar
161 King St. corner Castlereagh St Sydney NSW 2000
For all bookings and inquiries
please call 9223 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more photos of our dinner, click here.