Rustico Tapas and Bar is on the Rockingham foreshore. I had a little look about before finding Rustico. There were lots of families enjoying the shady playgrounds dotted along the beachside park. The beach was gorgeous too, I was tempted to feel the white sand beneath my toes, but I had a lunch date!
I was meeting two of my besties Mrs C and Mrs H at Rustico Tapas for lunch. I was a tad early, so got chatting to one of the friendly waitresses, who was very welcoming and excited about yet another gold plate nomination. Rustico has won a wall full of awards. The restaurant first came to my attention when Rob Broadfield gave it a rave review. Since then, it’s been on my must try list.
The interior of Rustico is of course rustic! It had a Spanish vibe with colourful feature lights and artwork. I was one of the first to arrive, but in no time the entire restaurant was full to bursting – this is a very popular spot
My two lovely friends are also mammas to be, so that was taken into consideration when picking our share dishes and drinks. We all opted for mocktails, picking a couple of virgin Mojitos and a fruity Barcelona Sunrise ($10).
We started lunch with a dish of more-ish mixed marinated olives ($9).
The salad ($15) of pear, rocket, parmesan and candied walnuts was a delicious combination. It was coated in a seeded mustard dressing. We all devoured the generous portion.
The pork belly ($23) was scrumptious. A collective “mmmm” was heard, as we took the first bite. It was extremely tender and packed full of porky flavour. The crackle was spot on too. The pork was accompanied by apple puree and a sticky pedro ximinez – a Spanish grape variety used to make a sweet dark sherry. We’re all big fans of pork belly and there was some discussion as to who should be lucky enough to eat the last piece!
The barramundi dish ($24) was also excellent and perfectly cooked – the fish moist and flaky with a perfectly crisp skin. It sat on a bed of sauce vierge (olive oil, lemon, diced tomato and basil) and creamed leek.
The nero paella ($28) was sensational. The rice and everything in it (like chorizo) was jet black, coated in squid ink. It was very tasty and topped with squid and scallops.
By this time we were felling full, but decided to be a little naughty and share some churros ($14). The Spanish doughnuts were perfectly cooked. Crisp on the outside, a little gooey in the middle and came with two dipping sauces – a white choc butterscotch and dark chocolate. Devine!
We all absolutely loved the food at Rustico. It was top notch produce, cooked exceedingly well. We all left with full bellies and for $49pp (food and drinks) I thought it was great value. The service is also excellent – friendly and knowledgeable – you get the impression the staff really love working there. For me, it was a 160km round trip there and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Most definitely worth the trip – if you live nearby I am SO jealous!
We were sat near the kitchen and each time a dish got popped up on the pass I would have serious plate envy! I will return to try out more of the delicious looking food – next time I’ll make sure I’m not driving, so I can enjoy some sangria too!
Good luck to Rustico in the gold plates this week! Whether they retain their gold plate or not – Rustico Tapas is an absolute winner anyway!
Check out more at http://www.rusticotapas.com.au
I’ve heard such stellar things about this place. I really need to take a trip down Rockingham way to try it out 🙂
Everything I heard about Rustico was glowing, I’m glad I finally made it, defo worth the trip 🙂