El Matador has opened its doors in Brisbane’s CBD.
The open kitchen, which features a humidor filled with cured meats and a Pira oven straight from Barcelona, will pump out Spanish dishes all day.
Spanish pastry and coffee is on offer in the morning, with breakfast available from 7am to 11am daily. Breakfast dishes include corn fritters with smoked pimenton labneh, wood-roasted cherry tomatoes, smashed avocado, crumbled Spanish blue cheese and pistachio dukkah and the classic Spanish tortilla with cheese and onion crisps. Expect a boozy brunch affair — a spiced Bloody Mary with Spanish pimenton is on the menu alongside a range of fragrant spritzes and Cava.
The pinxtos and tapas menu is expansive, with plates including three-cheese tarts with baby figs and honey; croquetas de jamon with confit chicken and mojo picon; and Sunshine Coast Padrón peppers with burnt cauliflower, cumin and olive oil.
The seafood offering is not to be overlooked. Shark Bay scampi, Moreton Bay bugs, Eatern rock lobsters and Queensland prawns are all available on ice with salmorejo, aioli and lemon, or a la plancha with garlic butter and lemon.
A range of Australian and Spanish cheese and cured meats, including La Boqueria Provisions’ Trufa salami of NSW wild boar and truffle, are available. Larger meat dishes are low-fuss and communal: think Rangers Valley pure Black Angus tomahawk, dry aged for 30 days with romesco and a half suckling pig with crispy skin direct from Segovia.
Owner Leo Castelluccio, the man behind Melbourne venues Cato, Graffiti Club and Bakers Gallery, says he’s inspired by Melbourne’s embrace of laneway culture. “I hope we can bring some of that energy and atmosphere to the middle of Brisbane with El Matador.”
The Burnett lane location accommodates 80 with a range of booths, banquettes and bar spaces.