Sometimes the unexpected adventures provide you with gems. I always enjoy that Melbourne offers so many eateries, that if plans fail for some odd reason, there are a million backups surrounding you.
This occurred when a downpour of rain interrupted our plans of heading to the Johnston St Latin Fiesta - instead we Urbanspooned surrounding restaurants to satisfy our paella cravings and we found a good one on Smith St.
Robert Burns Hotel is not what you would imagine a Spanish restaurant to go by, but this one did. It proved popular for a Saturday night, so much that we had to sit in the bar area rather than the official restaurant area - this was fine as long as we got to eat the same food as everybody else.
A little unsure as to how the seafood paella or paella de marisco would come out or how we would be charged by, we asked for three paellas, to which the bartender assured us one would be enough. Boy are we glad we listened to her because the paella was indeed humungous - but I assume they just take into account how many people the paella is for.
In contrast to a recent disappointing Spanish experience, this paella was full of flavour, even the smell that wafted from the paella pan already teased us with its fragrance. There was a generous amount of seafood and rice, and it was just the right amount for a group of three.
In addition, we tried a Chef's selection sausage platter, which was full of large sausage pieces and each had its own distinct taste. I'm not entirely sure what they all were but the darker coloured sausage was a favourite for all, whilst I can never go past some chorizo that is not too over or under cooked.
Overall it was about $99 for three of us and we were all content with the servings. It was a good night with friendly service but the only thing is that if you haven't booked, you will be in the bar and it will become quite busy with people waiting for a table. This makes you feel like you can't loiter for too long as people wait - but the meal was delicious and has made me realise that Spanish food done well is excellent.