Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hairy Canary

I really should learn from experience that small, dimly lit Melbourne restaurants are not great for taking food photos. Nevertheless, Hairy Canary serves up some delicious food, it just doesn't show up well on screen. I do have to thank my lighting assistants this time around for helping illuminate the scene. 

The menu is designed to be shared with friends; plenty of Spanish tapas dishes to go around. We chose a variety of dishes, surprisingly with more vegetarian dishes than meat ones.

Patatas Bravas
It's hard to go past crispy potatoes on the menu and these were delicious oily, with some tangy tomato sauce to cut through. The tastier, but probably not healthier, version of potato fries.

Eggplant Chips
Also deep fried and delicious were the eggplant chips - gooey soft eggplant on the inside and a perfectly crunchy exterior. My favourite dish of the night, especially as I can never cook eggplant well at home. 

Pork Belly Salad
Perhaps I have a very Asian view of pork belly dishes, but there was nowhere near as much pork belly as I would have liked in this dish. And perhaps not enough vegetables either. I was slightly disappointed at this dish which is sad because I want to like anything with pork belly.
Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpeas
The roasted pumpkin and chickpea dish was much more substantial (ingredient costs are a likely reason) and was quite tasty with enough bite still remaining in the chickpea to contrast with the tender sweetness of the pumpkin. If it wasn't for their last dish, I'd say go for the vegetarian options every time.

Prawn and Mussels
Off the specials board we ordered this fresh seafood delight - juicy sweet prawns and mussels, I was reminded of how great claypot-style seafood could be. If this is on the menu again, be sure to order it, and perhaps some extra bread to soak up with leftover broth.

Hairy Canary is a great little tapas restaurant with plenty of good quality dishes. In the tapas style, serving sizes are not large, so be prepared to spend a little more if you want to fill up, or treat it as delicious snack food. Service is fast and efficient and the space is cosy, although perhaps bordering on cramped, and it's a nice place to wind down after a busy working week.

Hairy Canary
212 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Mon-Fri: 12pm-3am, Sat 9am-3am, Sun 9am-1am

Hairy Canary on Urbanspoon