Hidden away in the middle of Hay Street somewhere between the city and subiaco is West Perth's Amphoras Bar. A little throwback place that looks like a typical restaurant from the outside and a nice little niche bar on the inside.
It exudes an old world charm, with intimate tables for two scattered throughout and a bar that boasts a generous range of alcohol to choose from.
Jeremy and I arrived a few minutes before our booking time; our teeth chattering softly from the bitingly cold air. Walking inside was like breathing a sigh of relief. The heaters were on full blast, the room full of happy chatter and couples toasting one another over large glasses of red. It was the night for dates by the look of it.
We were quite hungry, so happily accepted our menus, perusing them with gusto before settling on four tapas dishes to share. We were going to go for five but since it was our first time here we weren't sure about the serving sizes. I knew I was going to want dessert after spotting one with popping candy so I needed to make sure I kept enough room.
Crispy pink pepper baby calamari with aioli ($16) was a definite for us. Beautifully crunchy batter that was light and spicy; holding its texture even as the night waned on. This was probably the stand out dish for me. It was delicious and definitely moorish - perfectly accompanied by a creamy aioli. A squeeze of lemon sent my palate in overdrive. I felt like a kid trying ice-cream for the first time.
Jeremy's dessert was the creme catalan with almond and cranberry biscotti, and yoghurt icecream ($15). We had expected a brulee topping over the creamy dessert which it didn't have (this is correct but when you picture something as exciting as that crack of toffee it can be a little disappointing). However the yoghurt icecream went down a treat, as did the nice little strawberry salad and perfectly cooked biscotti.
All in all the food at Amphoras was great. The flavours are unique but familiar, and the spanish twist on the dishes gives the meal a level of excitement. The only downfall of this place is not what comes out of the kitchen, but rather the service.
We asked for water three times on arrival before getting it (with no apology), and when we asked for our bill it was given to the wrong table. Then when we did get it, it was wrong with additional items added in. Not a massive issue, but a bit of a shame when everything else was so right.
However, the service wasn't so bad that we won't be back. The food was too nice to think that way.