60 Hampden Road, Battery Point, TAS
P: 03 6224 7124
Another Tassy trip for work. I can admit that I look forward to the food as much as the chance to get out of the office. We were after somewhere new to try in Hobart, so a colleague in the office there suggested Spanish food at Francisco's. We enjoyed it so much our first night in town, we went back again on the second! Both times we ordered a selection of tapas to serve as entrees, and... well, I'll tell you about the mains later.
I can't remember all of the names of the dishes we ate, but I'll do my best to give you a run down.
This. Was. Brilliant. Hands-down my favourite tapas dish (and we ordered it both nights too). Oh-so-tender bites of fish covered in a spiced batter and perfectly deep-fried with a garlic aeoli on the side and a wedge of lemon. Every bite was a flavour explosion in the mouth.
Imagine a Spanish take on antipasto. This is Jamon: pancetta, artichoke hearts, semi-sundried tomatos (hm, could have been capsicum... memory is failing me), olives, and salad leaves. Very nice, especially the meat.
Imagine the salsa you buy to dip corn chips in. Now imagine it WAY better, and with slices of chorizo in it. Yeah. This was really great, but I would have liked some bread or something to mop up the sauce.
The spinach parcels were quite nice, with some tzatziki on the side, but were probably one of the least enjoyed dishes.
When we arrived on the second night we were given some bread to share with our tapas with the most fabulous garlic aeoli you could imagine. Yummmmm. We had the fish again the second night, but then had these different plates:
This was Cevice (sp?). Not really to my taste, but still very nice. Cured strips of white fish dished up with... well, you can see what was with it.
Grilled octopus - cooked on skewers - then scattered through a bowl of salad. It was quite nice, but not a whole heap of octopus, and for some reason I was expecting it to be warm - I don't know if it was meant to be or not. But still, I'd eat this again in a heartbeat.
I don't remember how the mushrooms were cooked, but they smelt great and tasted the same (which is why the picture only has the last few pieces). Which is quite an admission from me as I usually don't eat mushrooms (the texture grosses me out). I had a few and really enjoyed them.
And now... the mains.
While we ordered the same mains both nights, the first night the plates had a potato tortilla instead of the roasted vegies, and both were great accompaniments. In fact, I don't know which I preferred. But yes, those mains...
There's a nice range to choose from for mains, including a paella that I saw on another table that looked tasty. Also on the menu is a plate of meat that 2 people can share, at $30 each. There were four of us in the team. Yep, we ordered 2 plates. Both nights. The first night when the plates were brought out we were a little shocked at how much was on them, and didn't quite finish our greens. The second night we were more prepared.
At 8.01pm I took this picture of one of the plates (remember, we had TWO of them). What you see here are the roasted vegies, then meatballs, chicken skewers, beef skewers, beef fillet, chicken fillet, pork fillet... I might be getting my red meats mixed up here... on a bed of salad leaves, with dollops of mustard, tzatziki, and something like an eggplant dip. And a few other things you can see.
At 8.24pm this is all that was left - some greens, and half a meatball (you can just see the other plate on the top left... we moved all the leftover leaves to one plate). You can also see Ross flying the white flag signifying our surrender.
But then, we started picking at things, and by 8.30pm it was all gone. Yep. ALL GONE. We are gluttons. I know I, for one, went vegan over the weekend until a little bit of lasagne last night.
Look, in a nutshell, Francisco's is a great place. It was pretty quiet on the Wednesday night we were there, but we did get there a bit early, the weather was terrible (cold, windy, rainy), and Wednesday's are exactly renowned for their popularity for dining out. Even so, by the time we left a few other people had come in.
Thursday night was a dramatically different story - the house was fairly well filled. Service was a little slower, as you might expect, but still it was a great dining experience, with really great food, and Maria provides great friendly service.
I know I'll be heading back the next time I'm in town.