197 Gertrude Street
Good place to take a date:
Añada brings the colour, vibrancy and flavours of Southern Spain to a little hub of food heaven in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Dainty but delicious tapas dishes take you on a tour of the region as you graze on classics such as ceviche and pork belly. As lively as Gertrude Street in which it is situated, don’t come here for a quiet and intimate occasion; you’ll find yourself shoulder to shoulder with another couple or group in this busy restaurant, but that’s all part of the fun. Informal, loud and proud, Añada is the sort of place where you can turn up feeling wound up from a busy week at work and leave feeling like you’ve let your hair down in the space of a few dishes and half a bottle of wine. This makes it an incredibly relaxed spot for Melbourne dating… if you’re into that sort of thing.
Good place to meet for a first date:
The great thing about a date at Añada is that in the blur of food, wine, people watching and music, you’ll be astonished when you notice the time. The busy atmosphere makes moments slip away in earnest conversation and a steady stream of delicious tapas dishes – not punctuated by the tide of the standard three course dinner. The cosy intimacy of the restaurant will soon break down the boundaries, whether knocking knees at the bar or huddled in close to hear one another on one of the big tables, it’s a great excuse for whispering in their ear.
The hard of hearing might struggle with a visit to Añada. The cramped and noisy interior doesn’t really fly with older visitors, but it’s a happening place for the younger scene and its popularity proves that there’s method in the madness. Whether fleeting here from work or glammed up for a night out, you’ll never feel out of place in Añada.
Time of review:
Añada opens on evenings through the week and all day Sunday, and such a small establishment ensures the place never goes quiet. Walk ins are welcome although you might have a short wait, but the irresistible range of tapas and wine makes it worthwhile. Work your way down Gertrude Street’s bar either before or after your dinner to span the evening out if your Melbourne date is a sizzling success.
Average cost of a meal and a drink:
Although you might be a little surprised by the price tag of these bite size dishes, the atmosphere and flavours create a well-rounded package for first dates and regular dates. The menu might look very reasonable with many choices coming in at $4, but unless you have the stomach of a bird you’ll find you need rather a lot of helpings to beat your hunger.
Type of cuisine:
There’s no doubt about it, if you want finger-licking tapas you needn’t look any further. Añada claims to model itself on peasant food of Southern Spain, but if mussels almonds and pomegranates graced the plates of these paupers then who needs riches? Perhaps it’s simply the portion sizes that they emulate…
Añada has an infectiously happy and bustling vibe that is sure to perk up the mood on your Melbourne date. Recreating some of that Spanish passion through the medium of food and wine, let’s hope some of it rubs off on your evening with that special someone.