Amigos, Lygon Street - Melbourne

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A refreshing offer of strawberries and ice.

The evening had already turned showery and windy, but that did not deter us from walking to Lygon Street in Carlton, just two or three blocks from where we stayed along Exploration Lane, in the north-east of Melbourne city centre. The stroll turned out to be more pleasant then we anticipated, even if we had to duck quickly under some wetness and also negotiate ourselves around the crowds that had gathered on this Saturday night of the Albert Park Grand Prix. Our determination to reach Amigos was well placed, for even if crowded, we got a table, had friendly service and tasty food.

The name of the restaurant naturally evokes of Mexican but the menu encompassed some favourites from the Iberian peninsular.  I was most impressed with the paella of scallops and prawns, with the seafood infused with a sufficiently flavourful broth, topped up with a texture of moist comfort on the tongue.  The guy who approached us attentively had tried to get our preferences quickly, although we were not ready and reluctantly had to make him wait.  He did suggest that we try a larger serving of the nachos, but we were consciously trying to avoid the cream and richness of this entree. We settled for a smaller plate, although on reflection, we would next time order a larger plate of the delightful salad mix, with creamy avocado slices, light dressing and freshly picked leaves.

A wonderful and light contrast to the nachos and enchiladas.

Garnished with fresh herbs, the sauce of the paella was a highlight.

Sangria was expected, but Amigos also has a rather good list of choices for tequila and Margarita mixed concoctions. The food came efficiently and diners were also seen coming down the stairs near the entrance.  A gracias was articulated after paying the bill at the counter.  We had commenced our dinner around 9pm and the place was bustling with walk-ins well an hour after that, despite the inclement weather outside.  The front of Amigos had people well dressed to face the nippy night and ready to party long into the weekend.  The female staff were ready to accommodate requests for plates, spoons and any irks of the different customers.  The served dishes did not come with serving spoons, but if  if you shared but all you had to do was ask for them.

The view from the Amigos, located about the centre of the Lygon Street strip.

Nachos with a cut above the rest, although a bit rich for my taste, but accompanied by fresh chicken de pollo.


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