Since my trip to Spain in 2012, I became a huge fan of pintxos (or Spanish finger food on a stick). So I was sad to hear that The Carrington, one of the very few places in Sydney that serves pintxos, has ceased serving these bite sized snacks for good and has now altered the menu to Latin American dishes. But that's for another review. When I heard that Melbourne has a pintxos and vodka bar known as Naked for Satan, I knew I had to include it in my list of places to eat for my trip. Though it was a bit hard trying to convince some of my friends that it was not a venue involving naked people and Satanism.
The venue does not do bookings and it was a Saturday night so the best thing to do is rock up. Once we were inside, the atmosphere was crazy but there was no front of house staff to put you on a waiting list. So we had to wait or look around for a table and luckily there was a group about to leave. There was a hip, casual and buzzing vibe inside the bar with lots of cool kids mingling around and posters of naked people lingering around the walls to keep up with the name. Oh and dim lighting. Sorry about the pics.
The pintxos bar is similar to a buffet, only much more delicious! Very cheap too at only $2 per pintxos and if you show up during weekday lunch or have dinner on the less busy nights, then it's only $1! Great place if you are on a budget though if you like chowing down pintxo after pintxo like me then it's easy to get carried away. Basically, you get whichever dish you want with the provided tongs onto your plate and make sure you keep the toothpicks which will be used to pay later on when you are done. We weren't sure if this was an effective method since it's easy to lose more than a few toothpicks and pay less for your feed (especially if you are drunk or a tightarse) but apparently it seems to work.
Seafood with Prawn and Capsicum
The Imaya - Garlic, Cherry Tomato, White Anchovy, Parsley - FAVE
Wagyu Bresaola - FAVE
Tortilla (Egg, Potato and Onions) with Aioli
Smoked Chilli Mussels and Chickpea
Sundried Tomato with Cispy Pancetta and Peas- FAVE
Smoked Salmon with Pickled Onion - FAVE
Pissaladiere - Onions, Anchovy and Olive
Smoked Duck with Relish - quite sweet actually
Black eyed Bean Salad with Carrot
As you can see, I definitely got carried away with the pintxos because they were so tasty and addictive. While there were so many with generous and perhaps unusual toppings, my pick of the bunch was actually the fresh and simple smoked salmon and the plain-looking wagyu bresola. Seriously, I could eat cured meat on a slice bread all day and never get sick of it. Even got seconds! Another top pick of mine was the sun-dried tomato with pancetta and peas because the overall flavours worked so well together...and of course the pancetta! Everything else were just as delicious though my least fave would have to be the Pissaladiere because of its strong and salty flavours and the grainy texture. There was also a few that were tasty but I reckon woul be even better if they were delivered hot to our table such as the Tortilla with Aioli.
Speaking of which, you often get waiters carrying plates of hot pintxos delivered to your table where you get the option of grabbing that bite or not. Very similar to what you see at yum cha but with a Spanish touch. Really enjoyed the creamy and cheesy croquette and the empanada. Wished I had the stomach to try more of the hot pintxos.
Chorizo, Cream Cheese and Green Chilli
I didn't end up trying the above dish but most of my friends did and reckon this deserves a shoutout. This was one of their faves out of the pintxos for them even though they thought it was slightly spicy. A couple of them even got seconds for this plate.
Rich Chocolate Rum Ball with Pistachio
Within the platter of savoury dishes, you can even find a few sweet pintxos when you are feel like having dessert. The rich chocolate rum ball had an intense, bitter but sweet flavour that you would usually expect from truffles. Very nice to have after eating so many savoury pintxos.
We didn't end up checking out their rooftop area 'Naked in the Sky' because of the long queues to get to that space nor did we end up trying out the signature vodka (we ended up having sangria as usual). While the service was friendly, we wished that there was a person at the front taking names down and call us back later since it was incredibly packed and messy. Other than that, this bar reminded me of the restaurants in my Barcelona trip eating up all the pintxos. It's a great place to chill and mingle with your friends while nibbling on these snacks. And it's super cheap which will make your wallet happy. If I lived in Melbourne or have more trips in the near future, I will definitely be returning to try more pintxos and to make a visit to Naked in the Sky. I do love a good rooftop bar.
285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9416 2238
Sun-Thurs: 12:00pm - 12:00am
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm - 1:00am