When we heard that North Beach favourite, Tropico, had a little sister on the way, we were, to sum it up succinctly: freaking excited. Then when we heard the nosh was going to be Spanish-inspired, our excitement levels went up a notch because here at The Urban List, we love ourselves some Spanish eats.
Since the closure of Three Five Three, the upper end of Wembley’s Cambridge Street has been crying out for a (stable) eatery like Hermosa and it’s fair to say the crew looking after proceedings here know what they’re doing— chef and co-owner George Fowler having served as a sous chef at iconic Melbourne restaurant, Grossi Florentino.
Since the doors swung open at this spacious cantina a few months back, Wembley locals have been pouring in for Hermosa’s hearty brekkies and innovative tapas-style lunch and dinners. It’s a reassuring indication that Hermosa is likely to escape the fate of the restaurants before it.
Walking in to Hermosa on a rainy Thursday night, we were greeted by super friendly staff and a space that oozed warmth, charm and comfort. The decor is simple and while some of the design elements mirror that of Tropico’s, there’s an authentic Spanish vibe here with tiles from Spain, a pressed tin feature bar and lots (and lots) of colour. It’s not too cool or trying too hard, but instead is just the sort of cute buzzy neighbourhood bistro everyone wishes they had in their hood.
You can sit at the bar for a glass of rose and some nibbles (I’ll be back to do that soon!) or settle in at one of the tables for a feasting session like we did.
Relying heavily on sourcing menu items from local producers, Hermosa’s menu is broken down into the merienda (snacks) menu, small plates, meat and bread, and then a variety of meats cooked in the Josper oven.
There wasn’t one thing on the menu that didn’t sound delicious but we went with the scrumptious fried baby squid with squid ink mayonnaise before getting stuck into the pan con mushrooms with goats cheese which was rich, full of flavour and is now pretty much my new favourite thing to eat.
The WA grass-fed sirloin was melt-in-your-mouth tender and was perfectly complemented by a side of courgette, salted sheep’s cheese, oregano and olive oil— a beautifully tangled green mess of amazingness.
We thought we better try a dessert (it was research, guys!) and while the ever-popular churros were calling my name, I decided to mix things up and go for the Josper roasted orange crème Catalan, with orange and olive oil biscuit —a punchy version of the Spanish favourite. It was gorgeous!
Big enough for a group dinner, Hermosa is also the perfect place to settle in for a red-wine fuelled date night. Open 7am til late every day but Monday, it feels good to find a new place where everything on the menu makes you say…yes!
Want to know the location, opening hours, and all the details? Find Hermosa on The Directory.
Image credit: Louise Coghill