Bartino Portuguese Tapas & Bar

Before you continue I just want to say sorry for the poor photo quality, i only had an iphone with me at the time… buts its ok i know you come here for my wit more then my photography skill (or lack thereof).

So I have this mate whose Portuguese. He’s a very funny guy and a hoot to be around however, he does has a very latin temperament. He’s a very passionate guy and you can tell he has a real verve for life, but that same passion can sometimes see him becoming extremely outraged over the smallest things. Because of this he also tends to make some wild claims, whether it be about the state of people’s minds (he once claimed that someone who had given him less shifts then the usual at a bar he was working at had a ‘sick revenge mind!’), anything to do with Brazil, or how everything great in the world comes from Portugal (except for Oporto and peri peri sauce – this apparently is offensive to Portugal and no one eats chilli at all in Portugal). The latter is relative to this post as according to him some of the culinary traditions we associate with Spain (tapas, sangria, paella) are actually from Portugal. I don’t know how much truth there is in any of this but when I did some research on paella all of it pointed to its origins being in Valencia…. Not just any part of Spain… Valencia.

So this is how I found myself with 2 other diners at Bartino in Pyrmont on a cold and windy Saturday night. When I saw the words Portuguese Tapas and Bar I knew I we had to eat there to see if there was any substance to the claims.

Walking inside we’re greeted with dark timbers, soft yellow lighting, an old and jovial Portuguese fellow and thankfully the last free table. After a quick glance at the menu I already know what I want.

cod frittersPastaes de Bacalhau (served individually) – $4.00

We start off with a round of different tapas items. The cod fritters are light and fluffy with a nice crispy coating, while the saltiness of the fish isn’t overpowering. A spritz of lemon makes it all the better.

The chourico (sorry no photo was taken, but I can tell you its $12) is as good as expected, but then again when are cured meats ever bad? I don’t know if it’s because I’d already knocked back a few drinks but these are especially good. Sliced thinly they have a nice crispy char on the ends.   

garlic mushroomsCogumelos à Portuguesa – $13

The mushrooms are a favourite with the table. There’s nothing standout about the mushrooms themselves, in fact they look like simple button mushrooms that have been quartered, but the sauce is amazing. Garlicy, creamy, so full of flavoury. We find ourselves spooning the sauce on the other dishes and licking the sauce off our plates (ok so maybe that was only me).

paellaPaella – $49

And for the main act we chose the Paella. You knew where this was going. The menu states it’s for two, but I seriously think it would’ve been enough for four so long as you got your fill of tapas and so on. From the moment it landed on our table I knew it was going to be different. It had a light yellow tinge as opposed to the robust earthy ones you see when dining Spanish; it came in a flat ceramic pot as opposed to the Paella pan, and there wasn’t any sight of Chorizo. And what a paella it was, full of mussels, prawns, pipis and calamari, it was light, it was fresh and it was zingy. The juices all combined to make an almost creamy texture to the rice and we found ourselves going back for more even after the top jean buttons were already undone.

So I’m no closer to understanding if there’s any truths to my mates claims, but when the food is good who really cares? Maybe it’s because of people like my mate who like to make wild claims that we’re able to get great food as people strive for the best in order to justify them, and at the end of the day who can argue with that? Maybe only someone with a sick revenge mind.

Bartino Portuguese Tapas & Bar

9 Union Street, Pyrmont
(02) 9518 8000

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15 Comments

Filed under Portuguese

15 responses to “Bartino Portuguese Tapas & Bar

  1. Ha ha, you should tell your mate that EVERYTHING in the world orginated from Greece…even Paella if you asked them. I love Paella tho, so I don’t care where it orginates as it’s so damn tasty.

  2. ainslie

    Sooooooooooo Goood! been looking for a great Portuguese restaurant and u have me sold! u and you’re SICK REVENGE BLOGGGG!!!

  3. Lol your friend is a real character, the mushrooms sound really lovely.

  4. Sounds like you had a great time haha
    the sauce on the mushrooms looks real good!

  5. haha yum !
    i’ve noticed sooo many tapas places popping up around sydney lately !

    i’m really interested to try the paella though cos i remember thinking spanish paella tastes nothing like the paella from sydney (sydney tastes better :x)

    I went to valencia last year and i don’t remember anyone claiming paella coming from there ! or maybe they said it in spanish and i didn’t understand !
    I do remember a lot of talk about horchata y fartons – tigernut juice and these churro-like yummy sticks !!

    You should get your mate to cook you paella haha and put his money where his mouth is !

    • hehehe so what is it about sydney paella that makes it taste better?
      i’m not a huge fan of horchata, just like the word cause of that vampire weekend song… feels so summer…

      meanwhile he’s sicne claimed that he knew it was spanish all along and he wouldn’t make such a claim….

      • Ahah i dunno ! Just didnt even taste like the same dish (which probably means aussies are doing it completely wrong …hahah)

        Yeahh i didnt like the horchata either ! the fartons were really nice tho, and u can dip them in the juice too !

  6. I adored the paella from here! I popped in randomly on a trip to Sydney, and damn it was so delcious, next time I will be making it a destination!

    Those mushrooms look amazing also…

  7. Pingback: Hey Girl. | A Weblog about…. food.

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