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It was a fairly chilly night, some of us were really hungry, and we were walking down Bay St to find somewhere to eat. Corte was an interesting looking place on a corner, which had big signs up advertising Portuguese nights, and Argentinean nights, but we weren’t really sure what the general cuisine was. Nevertheless, we decided the place looked good, and so decided to give it a go.

It was a busy night, so the only table we could get was outside, but this ended up being great. The outside was set up with tables and chairs, candles, lots of patio heaters, and looked to be the perfect place to catch up with friends over drinks and a few nibbles. It was however a horrible light to take photos in, especially since I didn't have my DSLR and was relying on an iPhone and an S4.

The menu also conveyed this intent, with most of the options focused around sharing. The cuisine would best be described as tapas, with limited vegetarian options, but we had a 50% vegetarian ratio at the table, so we ordered everything vegetarian on the menu, plus a few meaty options for the others. We were informed the food would arrive in stages as it was prepared, and this worked well, given that that was all designed to be eaten in small portions rather than as a whole meal.

We started with a couple of serves of sourdough bread, which were served with Spanish olive oil and rock salt. I am a bit of a bread connoisseur and this bread definitely passed my test. It had a solid crust, and a soft bread texture which was just how I liked it. The rock salt was very strong though, so I had to be careful to have no more than just a touch on each mouthful. It was a solid start to the meal.

We then had Pimientos de Padron, which were little peppers sautéed in lemon and salt. It may sound simple but these were delicious. Apparently the heat of the peppers wasn’t consistent though, and whilst I didn’t get lucky enough to get a really hot one, others did. I suppose that can’t be avoided...

Another vegetarian option was the Gringa. This was a soft tortilla, filled with sweet corn puree, and topped with tomato salsa and sour cream. The others around the table deemed this dish to be one of their favourites, however for me, it was the dish I least liked. The corn puree didn’t seem to be seasoned enough, and so tasted a bit bland. Perhaps I’m just used to much stronger flavours.

We also ordered a quinoa salad which had quinoa (obviously!), fetta, chilli, limes and grapes scattered through it. This dish was definitely one of my favourites. The mild heat of the chilli, the tang of the lime, and the freshness of the grapes all combined to provide an amazing flavour explosion. It also tasted great with the above mentioned peppers.

This was the end of our original order, however we decided we were still a little hungry, so we decided to get another serve of the tortillas and also try the remaining vegetarian option on the menu, which was a Queso Fundido, or baked camembert. I had never had baked cheese before and boy was I in for a treat! The cheese was seasoned with cracked pepper and spring onion, and baking it resulted in a gooey, fondue like mess which was delicious. It was served with a few slices of bread, which was no where near enough, and in the end I ended up spooning the gooey cheese onto my place and eating it by itself, because it would be a sin to let it go to waste!

Corte turned out to be a pretty good place that we stumbled upon. It's definitely a place that caters to large groups, and casual dining, but the food is pretty decent, and the atmosphere is lovely.

 Corte on Urbanspoon


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