50 Frenchmans Road, Randwick NSW 2031
More than meets the eye
This wine and tapas bar has been opened for about 15 months now and the owner Mark Murray mentions he has grand dreams of making it even better if he gets the time and opportunity to do so. Tuesdays is $8 tapas night which applies to all the hot menu items (except specials, cold and antipasto tapas) which is pretty good value considering they list for between $9 to $15. All the cold and antipasto tapas start from $5 for Mild Hot Chilis in vinaigrette up to around $13 for the Gran Reserve Jamon Serrano. Mark kindly offers me to try a glass of their Finca Flichman 'Misterio' Malbec 2006 from Mendoza Argentina which is lovely and priced at $9 a glass. He mentions they spend a lot of time researching and sourcing their wines from around Australia and overseas and try to offer something that isn't widely available in your local bottle shop — it's quite evident how passionate and knowledgeable he is about wine if you get a chance to chat with him.
To help give me a better of idea of the tapas menu I'm treated to try some of Mark's favourite dishes including the Pimientos Rellenos from the special menu which is quite substantial in size for a tapas. The Italian White Anchovies is a light starter for the fishy fans. The Spicy Spanish sausage is served the classic Catalonian way which seems to be with onions and a sort of light gravy sauce. I found it a bit lighter in it's distinctive meaty taste that what you might expect when chorizo is simply grilled. He was keen for me to try their Black Chorizo which I feared a little because of my distaste for anything like Black Pudding but thankfully it wasn't as heavy and came with some vegetables to cleanse the palate between bites.
I checked out the upstairs room with cosy chairs and funky light features which unfortunately is only opened if downstairs gets too busy. There's also a small back courtyard area which would be most welcome in summer. Tuesday is live band night where the musicians sit in the corner and fill the bar with their background music — although if your looking for a quiet night I must warn you it can get a bit too loud at times for such a small bar area.
Other visits to SumBar:
• 1 Sept 2009 - Tapas and Wine
• 14 August 2009 - Wine
Italian White Anchovies served on crispy toast $10
Pimientos Rellenos con Bacalao y Salsa Pesto $12.50
Chorizo negro con simplemente verduras: Black Chorizo with a parsnip and white wine sauce $15