It may have once been a simple peasant dinner, but paella is now Spain’s most infamous dish – a spicy combination of rice, meat and a whole lot of spice. However if you’ve never had the chance to wander the streets of Valencia to hunt down a feast of authentic paella and sangria, we’ve found a few spots a little closer to home.
To share, or not to share? That’s the question you’ll be grappling with when Bistro Alegria’s pan of spicy seafood paella piled with clams, mussels, prawns and crayfish arrives in front of you. We’d definitely suggest sharing – if only so you can fit in some of their delicious tapas like crispy fried school prawns and steak tartare as well.
Ole | South Bank
The three amigos have come to Brisbane in the form of Ole’s three delicious paellas. But there might be some conflict between these three Spanish friends because we cannot choose a favourite. The traditional seafood and chicken options hold a special spot in our hearts (and our stomachs), but the vegetarian paella – a combination of mushroom, artichoke, cannellini beans, green peas, and capsicum – has secured its place right where it belongs: our mouths.
You may be eating at Peasant, but the paella here deserves a royal status. The deliciously spicy, flavour-filled Spanish dishes could easily knock Will and Kate out of the running for the throne. What’s more, you can pick up paella for two for $30 every Monday. Grab a jug of sangria with it and it’s the perfect way to say adios to the worst day of the week.
What better way to say TGIF than with paella? Moda offers fresh lobster, prawns and oysters in their seafood medley on Paella Fridays. Pair it with one of their red or white Spanish wines and tell the boss you might be a little late getting back to the office.
Delfinas |Fortitude Valley
We’ve been fishing for a good feed, and we’ve hooked a prize catch with Delfina’s seafood paella. Spicy chorizo, prawns, mussels and clams are mixed with saffron and rice to create a dish that has certainly mussel-ed its way into our hearts. Okay, we’ll stop with the seafood puns. We’re getting a little shellfish.
Say ‘buenos dias’ to the seven tasty paellas at Brisbane’s only dedicated paella bar. There are plenty to choose from but we recommend ‘paella mixta’ – a perfect combination of seafood, chicken and pork that represents the merging of the seas and mountains. Don’t worry, you won’t have to conquer any mountains – only the top button on your jeans
Little Spain’s paella has been transporting the people of Brisbane to Spain without having to book flights. The market stall has three classic paellas – a deliciously spicy chicken and chorizo, a tasty seafood melody, and a flavourful vegetarian option. But, if you want to expand your chorizons a little and stop being a chicken, we recommend the spicy black paella – a mixture of squid ink, cuttlefish, morcilla, mushrooms, black mussels, and fresh chillis.
All this Spanish food has made us want to run with the bulls! Well, walk with the bulls. We’re too full of paella to run.
Words by Kate Stevens