Firstly, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas from The Random Foodie! :D. Time to pig out and have fun! Hope you all are having the best time celebrating this holidays!
One of my favourites from Spanish cuisine is pintxos (smaller individual-sized snacks that are skewed). Along the streets of Barcelona, you come across a good number of pintxos bars and heaps of general Spanish restaurants filled with these snacks. While Sydney is having a growing number of tapas restaurants, there hasn't been many that offers this kind of Spanish delicacy (if there are, please let me know :P). Thankfully, the Carrington has a reasonable amount of these bite-sized snacks on their menu along with even more pintxos specials on Tuesdays for $3!
It may look plain but it packs a lot of good amount of zesty and sweet flavour from the honey and the savoury and slightly peppery soprasada (paste made from minced cured pork, paprika, salt and various spices) to make you want more.
Sobrasada and honey
This treat is certainly luscious with the soft kingfish on a bed of creamy, tangy coleslaw. This morsel is quite moist, fresh and peppery which I enjoyed. Even thought that the tiny gherkins were useful to have whenever your taste buds need a kick.
Kingfish Pastrimi On Rye
Found this too creamy for my liking but it's just a personal preference. Surprised at how much I enjoyed the anchovy (lol) as it didn't overpower the lightly seasoned dish. The bread for this and the past two pintxos I have just mentioned is grilled and toasted to perfection though it is tough to cut so eventually I gave up and held it by the hand instead.
Smoked eggplant & White Anchovy Tostada
I was gob-smacked when I saw this item on the $3 menu. Sure it may not be as authentic as many other Spanish pintxos but I love my lamb so why not? Wouldn't mind trying this as it was not dry and tasted as nice as the ones at Bourke Street Bakery but much smaller.
Mini lamb sausage roll
Not a huge fan of this. Probably because by this point, the other pintxos were filling me up and this one certainly is full of carbs! I like the neatness of its presentation with the slices of potato and cheese stacked on each other so you can check out the layers. The pickles from the smoked kingfish dish was very useful after the starchy flavours were too much to handle though the yellow sauce on top did help a lot.
Potato, Manchego and Rosemary Tortilla
Very similar to the Grilled Paella Onigiri on the regular menu but instead the squid ink paella rice is shaped into a ball instead of a triangle and is coated with breadcrumbs with deep fried tentacles skewed on top. Not as dense so it was easier to chew down than the much denser triangular paella onigiri would have. In fact I enjoyed this variation because it is very flavoursome from the squid ink rice to the sauce and the crumb coated texture.
Paella Ball with Calamari
I was even more amazed when I saw the slider on the pintxos menu. I cannot remember if it was pork belly or pulled pork but it did not disappoint at all. While I was getting so full, it is surely very satisfying to try and the meat is reasonably tender enough to enjoy.
The place itself has a very social vibe complemented with a very tasty menu like many other restaurant pubs under the Drink and Dine Group. Also a great place to buy a reasonably priced drink while you wait for your meal. The service can be good but the speed to deliver the meals varies based on my past visits. Some of the pintxos reminded me of the ones served in Spain so I'd say that The Carrington has done a great job at making these accessible for the Sydney dining market. If only these options are available every night instead of just Tuesday but the regular daily menu is very delicious as well. Will definitely come back as they frequently change their $3 pintxos menu every week so expect some nourishing surprises.
The Carrington Specialite - Beba Y Cene
565 Bourke Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9360 4714