Thursdays this year have become the night that GG and I head out for dinner to take advantage of the many, many, many bargain dinners that have been on offer at the many, many, many voucher websites that are currently operating. I love eating out and these websites give me the perfect excuse to try out different places that perhaps I wouldn’t normally have ventured to. Such was the case last Thursday when GG and I headed toComoto visit Just Wine and Tapas Bar. A very unassuming restaurant alongPreston StreetinComo, with the word “Just” lit up on the front being the beacon to where we were headed.
When we arrived just after 7 it wasn’t overly busy. It was a fairly small place really and felt all very cosy with the fire place going. We were actually sat right in front of the fire which I thought was quite delightful. GG initially sat closer to the fire but we did end up swapping seats and it was perhaps a little too toasty for his liking.
Initially the deal has been for a carafe of Sangria and then 8 tapas, however they amended to order any food and drinks to the value of $108. So we stuck with a half carafe of sangria and then perused the tasty selection of tapas to decide what to have. There were definitely some interesting sounding options available. We ended up with a mix of seafood, meat and vegetable dishes. And from when we placed the order it was a fairly speedy turn around on the first dish arriving.
This was the scallops, which came served wrapped in bacon with a slice of lemon and an aioli style sauce. They did present well in the shell with the colourful sprig of rocket on the side. I was slightly disappointed when I actually ate them though. When unwrapped for the bacon the scallop in the middle was barely cooked through. And I’m all for flash frying scallops, don’t want those bad boys overcooked, but this was very nearly raw. Also at $8 each I could understand why some people found the menu more on the expensive side. For $8 a scallop I would have wanted this one to be up there with the best I’d eaten, which it sadly was not.
Next up from this came the beef koftas. They looked lovely propped up in their bowl surrounded by a tomato sauce and finished with a little rosemary. Flavour wise they were pretty tasty and the tomato sauce was a nice accompaniment. However they were a little dry, but the sauce did help.
The ham and cheese (Jamon Serrano and Manchego) platter arrived soon after. For $19 I was fairly uninspired by what we got. Can’t fault their generosity with the ham, however the cheese looked like it had been taken for a bag of grated cheese and I question why they bothered to serve it with one slice of bread? One slice?? I mean it didn’t take like freshly baked bread, so I would venture that perhaps they could have at least included two? So I wasn’t overly pleased with this selection.
The winner of the whole meal arrived next. Chicken, leek and asparagus pies. They were fabulous. Light, flakey pastry with a really delicious filling. All the ingredients worked really well together. In hindsight I would have happily eaten a dozen of these and nothing else. They were stand outs.
The prawns were decent too. A good size and tasty in all their battered goodness. This was probably my second favourite behind the pies and came with a nice sweet’ish sauce.
We ended with two vegetable dishes. One was a salad with charred asparagus, which I think we’d both had hoped was warm, along with fetta, olives and rocket. GG’s ate the majority of this and his main complaint was the grittiness of it. Seemed to be a fair bit of sand still hiding in those leaves. Which was unfortunate really.
The final dish was field mushrooms. The problem here was that it seemed as though the mushrooms had been cooked separately of the tomato sauce which came it so they didn’t really have any flavour infused through them. So it was all a bit lacklustre.
Ending with the two vegetable dishes made for a disappointing finish for me. In all I think others comments that I had read about this place describing the food as “hit and miss” really did sum it up. There were some dishes that were tasty and others that were nothing too special. I also wasn’t overly impressed with the sangria, found it very sweet, but hey that was me. GG enjoyed it. Service wise, they did their best but I suspect my sentiments echo others in that the two staff they have on the floor were put under pressure to service all the tables.
So in all this isn’t a tapas place I would rush back to and I think if I’d had to pay full price I wouldn’t feel as though the cost was worth what they serve. But I know that places can just have the occasional off night, so I may well have caught them on one of these.