Subsolo, CBD

One of the dumbest things I’ve ever done (and there have been many) was volunteering to make a speech in front of a cohort of Chinese students who were visiting my high school. This was in eleventh grade and I was a contender for school captain. Being the nerd that I was; I figured that this would bolster my stock.

It did (I went on to become school captain but that’s for  another time) but it was a terrible decision nonetheless.

The dialect I needed to use was Mandarin and my Mandarin is dreadful. My Mandarin is more of an Orange to be honest.

The point of that little anecdote was to illustrate how bad I am with languages. I’ve always wanted to add another dialect to my arsenal so that I could make jokes in other languages. On the top of that list is Spanish because it just sounds so smooth.

Oh and I want to order Spanish food without being laughed at.

Unfortunately, I was laughed at whilst ordering some delicious Tapas at Subsolo in the city.

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I was already impressed before a bite had been taken.

My dining partner and I walked in and immediately bounced off the carpet. Let’s not get it twisted, it was not a bouncing castle but it was an awesome surface to walk all over. I immediately busted out a few back flips and Capoeira dance moves because a surface this nice was hard to come by.

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I don’t really pay too much attention to the decor when I go out to eat. Unless its edible of course, I’ll be an incredibly happy dude when I can walk into a place and just take a bite out of the wall. That’s a killer concept; whoever actually executes it will owe me residuals.

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Anywho, I noticed the decor to Subsolo and I thought it was pretty sweet. Great mood lighting, ambient setting and a great colour scheme to go along with the brick walls. It’s definitely earned a place on my ‘places to take a date’ list that I haven’t had to look at for a while…

Let’s move on to the food:

Bacalao Salt Cod Croquettes with Aioli
Bacalao Salt Cod Croquettes with Aioli

There were a lot of flavours at work within every croquette. Every bite taken contained a  hint of lemon, a dab of pepper, a pinch of salt and some flaky fish. Add the crisp shell of the croquette and you’ve already got a winner.

But wait, there’s more.

You’ve got to factor in the capsicum and then the rocket for another burst of pepper.

It was great way to start the dinner. The only negative was that the aioli was slightly bland but there were enough flavour dynamics underway for it to be a major issue.

On to the next one:

Garlic Mushrooms with Haloumi & Spinach (sorry about the subpar picture quality, I was distracted by a very attractive Spanish waitress).
Garlic Mushrooms with Haloumi & Spinach (sorry about the subpar picture quality, I was distracted by a very attractive Spanish waitress).

Cooking 101: Base your dish around mushrooms and you’ve got yourself a paying customer in me.

I love mushroom is all shapes and sizes. Oddly enough, I also really like spinach and I almost never see these two ingredients side by side. I was slightly hesitant in ordering this dish as I am not a fan of haloumi. Fortunately, this variation of Haloumi wasn’t as salty as I’ve previously tasted and I loved the difference in texture it provided. Get a forkful of every ingredient and take your tongue to Flavourtown.

Paprika Salt & Pepper Baby Squid with Sofrito
Paprika Salt & Pepper Baby Squid with Sofrito

I loved the presentation of this dish. Having the calamari rings on top, the tentacles in the middle and the Sofrito at the bottom was just great for the eyes.

Did my tastebuds enjoy the dish as much as my pupils?

Maybe more so. The paprika, salt and pepper achieved a level of harmony usually only displayed by the finest of musicians. I loved the squid as it was incredibly soft and not fried to the point of no return. The Sofrito served as a great complement and I really enjoyed the tomato base.

This would’ve been my favourite dish of the night if it wasn’t for what I’m about to show you next:

Pork Belly with Chorizo - Espetada Skewer
Pork Belly with Chorizo – Espetada Skewer

I’m going to launch into what some might see as hyperbole but this is just me going in.

This might’ve been the best pork belly I’ve ever had.

It was ridiculously tender. I was sliding it off the skewer with the tongs and I could already tell how it would melt in my mouth upon contact. Oh and the chorizo? That’s just too much; it’s like looking over all of Leonardo DiCaprio’s ex girlfriends.

The chorizo was great; just bursting with a number of spices.

It was an absolute privilege to enjoy this dish.

***

Here’s the TL; DR for everyone who’s still chuckling about my Mandarin/Orange joke (anyone?)

– 我可以讲中文!

– The extent of my Spanish being able to ask where the library is: ‘Donde esta la biblioteca?’

– Subsolo would be a great place to take a date…or your Mother for her birthday if you’re a good son like I am.

– Get the pork belly and send me photos when you do.

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Subsolo, CBD

161 King Street, Sydney

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Friday:
Lunch from 12.00pm Dinner from 5.30pm

Saturday:
Dinner from 5.30pm

Sunday & Monday
Closed

Subsolo on Urbanspoon

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