14 Armstrong Street
Good place to take a date:
Rich and fiery food accompanied by good wine is a sure-fire way to spark off any date, so Spanish cuisine is a top option if you share a passion for flavour. Santiago tapas bar is a bustling social space that is the perfect place to unwind in the warmth of a romantic but relaxing restaurant on a Friday night in the city. Sample the delightful sangria as you tuck into a myriad of meals that are perfect for those you can never decide what to order. For a really special dinner, order the degustation menu; seven sumptuous dishes matched with equally excellent wines that will help span out those precious moments of the date as you get to know each other. Santiago is a neighbourhood gem that is sure to impress, especially on the occasions where they host live music and entertainment. If cosy and busy isn’t your thing though, you might find it a bit cramped. And be sure to book ahead.
Good place to meet for a first date:
As the vino flows Santiago can get pretty lively on evenings, even midweek. The bring-your-own wine Tuesdays are a great option for first dates in Melbourne if you want to save a few pennies on dinner, because it isn’t the cheapest of options. And what better way to break the ice than to share and compare dishes as you take your time over tapas? A popular place for eating and drinking with friends and colleagues, you might easily meet someone new as you both make a grab for the last chunk of chorizo. See, you have something in common already! A fun and fresh place for relaxed Melbourne dating, and the churros is sure to have them sweet on you if they aren’t already.
The hip European scene and sharing culture makes Santiago a popular place amongst younger winers and diners, but not exclusively. If you love powerful flavours and vibrant little neighbourhood gems, Santiago is a guaranteed pleaser for a Melbourne date. Laid-back and lively, you don’t have to go all out on dressing up to come here, but it’s special enough to make the effort if you want to.
Time of review:
With promotions on throughout the week as well as a naturally busy restaurant on the weekend, you’ll always find an inviting atmosphere at Santiago. Tuck into classic paellas on Wednesdays and Saturdays, BYO wine on Tuesdays, and see what all the fuss is about with Vino y Tapa Thursdays. A great excuse to invite them out on that second date this week…
Average cost of a meal and a drink:
Pricing it almost impossible to judge on tapas restaurants, simply because it depends largely on how hungry you are! A good bottle of wine doesn’t come cheap at around $55, but if you know your stuff then you won’t be disappointed with the quality. Or you could just pretend you know your stuff to impress them… The degustation menu costs $45 per person, or $85 with wine, and for that you get to sample the finest culinary creations of the head chef for a food tour of Spain without leaving Melbourne.
Type of cuisine:
Whilst tapas isn’t a new thing anymore, finding authentic tasty tapas is a different ballgame. Santiago stays true to Spanish cuisine, thanks to head chef Cesar who hails from Malaga. Some of the most popular dishes include rolled pork loin, grilled prawns and croquettes. Oh, and don’t forget to leave room for the churros!
Why stick to one meal when you can have three, four or even seven dishes all in one night? Yes, we’re talking about food not dates, but Santiago is a special local eatery for a romantic Melbourne date that breaks away from the norm.