Santiago feels real. It’s all there: the crisp, cold Spanish beer, the food-accompanied language classes, the twice weekly, authentically slow-cooked paella – this is Spanish with soul. The intimate space, tucked away nicely on Armstrong Street, is perfect for dates, and never feels exactly the same. Rustic timber lines Santiago, and the ornate wall-mounts are a kiss from Spain. Locals keep the place perpetually buzzing, but the mood is effervescent, rather than brash.
Though you’ll find the menu regularly changing, Santiago’s staples are tasty and easy on the pocket – calamari, goat’s cheese and potato omelettes are dished out competently by the busy but engaging staff. It must be said: dessert steals the show here. Hell, it takes what was a brilliant night of hearty cuisine and renders it child’s play. This is sheer decadence.
Hearts have been won and stolen with the freshly made churros and melted Spanish drinking chocolate. So leave room.
14 Armstrong Street, Middle Park
(03) 9696 8884, www.santiagotapas.com.au