|Secret Foodies Spanish Warehouse Dinner, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst|
|Diners on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, waiting for the Spanish Warehouse Dinner|
|Entering the warehouse|
|Long table settings|
|Chef Miguel Maestre starts the paella|
|Tables set in the warehouse|
Steaminess aside, I think for the first few minutes everyone just took in and appreciated the enormous effort of the 'restaurant' setting before moving on to socialising with complete strangers.
|Miguel Maestre - cooks and entertains!|
Of course, matched Spanish booze helps as well - though not for all the right reasons with the warm Tio Pepe Fino sherry - in addition to the stories and laughs from Maestre himself.
He chats about the evening's menu among many other things, and could consider a career in stand-up comedy though his endless jokes about his heavy northern Spanish accent are all the more endearing.
|Ajo blanco - Spanish style cold soup|
Not to say I didn't like the big garlic hit with the cream, if it were toned down a little, I think this would make a wonderful starter for a summer garden party (otherwise a party where air kisses might even be vetoed).
|Tigres - Stuffed mussels|
In a lightly creamy bechamel-like sauce, these molluscs were reminiscent of mornay styled seafood though not cheesey and flavoured with onions and herbs. It was quite the surprising mouthful - tender mussel and creamy sauce - and a firm favourite of the night.
|Tortilla de Patatas - Spanish omelette|
|Martin Codax Albarino|
|Chorizo a la Sidra - Chorizos cider style|
The little onions, stewed to a sweet softness, were just as good as the little spicy pork sausages, while nice white bread would have been perfect to mop up all the cider juices that the chorizo had been cooking in.
|Maestre dishes out his paella|
The servers get through the queue quickly, and any concerns that the huge paellera isn't enough to feed the entire room are hastily quelled when each diner receives a massive serving of the rice; while seconds are also offered.
|Cuatro Pasos Mencia rose|
|Paella a la Maestre|
|Churros con chocolate - Churros with chocolate dip|
With dipping bowls of melted chocolate, the crunchy outers of the churros were just as pleasing as the soft, fluffy innards. These were just as good, if not better than anything in a restaurant setting, and given the lack of proper kitchen or ventilation, a job extremely well done.
|Pedro Ximenez sweet dessert sherry|
The evening had been extraordinary fun, and there's nothing like sharing food to bring people together - strangers or not. There's a few extra photos from the night here at my Facebook page (and Like me while you're there), and hello to all those I met on the night!
Food, booze and shoes attended the Secret Foodies Spanish Warehouse Dinner courtesy of Secret Foodies and Ms. Darlinghurst - thanks for sharing the fun!