Monday, 22 March 2010

Ortiga, Fortitude Valley

 
Simon Hill's Ortiga has been on my must try list for way too long so I was very pleased when it was announced  as the venue for the launch of the Audi Noosa Food and Wine Festival (30 April - 2 May).

It's located in Brunswick Street, just out of the heart of the Valley hustle and was formerly Isis. Simon has a long history of outstanding restaurants and Ortiga is no exception.  It's been described in The Australian as 'the most serious Spanish restaurant in Australia'.

And it didn't disappoint! I'm still thinking about the slow cooked lamb and the chocolate and caramel ice cream dessert.

The line up for the festival looks superb but more on that soon.  Here's what we had for lunch.
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Pimientos de padron con putillas - a dish of small green peppers that are grown in Maleny with calamari from Mooloolaba. We were warned that some of the peppers have real 'bite' but luckily none of mine did. Judging by the look on some of my companions faces - other peppers did.


Next came Morcilla de Burgos with granny smith apple jelly and broad beans - blood sausage with a smooth apple jelly that had just a little bite.
The fish was flown in on the daily flight from Spain for the next dish - Whole roasted Spanish turbot with refrito.

But the star, as far as I was concerned was the Whole slow cooked milk fed lamb shoulder with patatas a lo pobre and lemon puree. Basically it's a confit lamb shoulder poached for 18 hours in oil.  It fell apart on the platter, so deliciously tender - and the flavour was outstanding.

My stomach said no, no, no more food but then they brought out the El Chuleton - grilled aged rib eye on the bone with herb potatoes and salad. One slice proved to me it was full flavoured beef with a light salt crust that was too hard to resist.

Dessert was another matter and when the platters of Tortitas de Aceite with chocolate and caramel ice cream hit the table it was quickly divided between us all. I would definitely order this again!

Also the Mil hojas de cabello de Angel - a sorta custard slice with pastry so light and flakey and just a touch of caramel. What can I say but 'Bring it on'.

Ortiga certainly looks very smart both upstairs and down.  We dined downstairs where the open kitchen is the star and provides plenty of viewing opportunities.  Upstairs is more relaxed and casual dining with tapas and a comfy bar area.


Ortiga

446 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley p 3852 1155
Open Tue-Sat 6pm-11pm

Photo credit:  The top photo of the chefs was taken by Des Houghton - thank you Des!

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