Hawthorn’s dining resident, Tinto is turning heads with a seasonal menu that is full of vibrancy, character and the flavours of Spain.
Well-respected in the hospitality industry, Head Chef Nacho Castells Rusiñol is a vocational chef with an extensive background in Spanish, Mediterranean, Catalan, French, British and international cuisine. Castells’ resume includes stints as the Head Chef at the prestigious El Borracho de Oro (Birmingham, UK) as well as Michelin starred restaurants around the world. His passion and respect for produce results in a stunning menu at Tinto which is a celebration of hearty traditional and soulful Spanish cuisine with a modern touch and expert execution.
The space is open yet intimate and reminiscent of a Spanish street bar. A rustic timber surround makes up the front bar, and pale tiles wrap around the front bench. Wooden furnishings are infused throughout the venue, to create warmth and a sense of community.
The wine list is made up of equal parts Australian and Spanish wines. We highly recommend the Alvaro Palacios 'Camins del Priorat'. A robust and dark-fruited wine with hints of earthiness and delicious tannin structure, it was a great accompaniment to our Spanish feast.
We commenced our culinary journey at Tinto with a selection of tapas. Castells’ take on the humble Patatas Bravas graced our presence first. Thoroughly modern and simply delicious, we loved the hand cut and confit potato cylinders topped with aioli and salsa brava.
A delectable selection of croquettes were next – each as delightful as the next. The jamon croquettes were beautifully creamy while the calamari croquette with squid ink boasted depth and flavour while the cod fish croquette boasted an addictive salinity.
For mains the Pulpo Gallego was outstanding and was our favourite dish from our visit. Tender grilled octopus was served with puréed purple potato and samphire atop aromatic black rice. It was a rustic dish that was simply comfort food at its best.
For meat lovers the lamb shank certainly gratifies. Slow roasted for hours, the lamb shank had a lovely pistachio crust and simply fell off the bone. The tender meat went perfectly with the accompanying prune emulsion.
Our savoury courses concluded with a popular Spanish dish – the paella. Castells’ Paella Valenciana was exquisite. Cooked with a traditional mix of chicken, fish, mussels, vegetables and saffron, the paella delivered a great amount of flavour. Served in a paellera (paella pan), there was a beautifully crusty bottom which had the infused aromas of being cooked over an open fire.
Dessert time continued the trend of the evening – wonderful. The Tarta de Queso was utterly irresistible. Think luscious and perfectly baked Menorcan cheese cake served with refreshing strawberry ice cream and thick gooey toffee sauce. Delicious!
With Head Chef Nacho Castells Rusiñol at the helm, Tinto brings Spanish flair to Hawthorn with its outstanding offerings. Expect flavoursome dishes and friendly service with modern twists along the way that will take you straight to Spain.
Location: 555 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
Phone: (03) 9994 3978