Livin' la Vida so-so.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

There are few things in my life that I like more than 1) Seafood 2) Sangria and 3) Chocolate - so when I heard about Vida Spanish Restaurant in Paddington, Brisbane - my eyes lit up and I bumped this place up to the top of my list. Where I'm not completely sure it belonged in the end, but nevertheless we went.

Vida was converted from an older style house - so therefore the eating areas were considerably spread out. The decor was bland: white walls, white ceilings, white fans, crooked frames on the wall. The one thing that gave it warmth and character were the hanging tealight holders by the window I wanted to take home with me. 

Bread and olive oil was complimentary (and very nice I might add). We came for one reason and one reason only and that was the Paella ($50 for two) so we ordered this, and some marinated olives to munch on before it arrived. The olives weren't too bad - some were as big as your head and extremely flavoursome (niiiice), but the others really hadn't been marinating for long and were bland in the centre. The Sangria ($25 for two) came in a terracotta jug which was a lovely touch and I'll admit, was outstanding.

The paella arrived and was served by a rather nervous waitress who attempted to dish it out and ended up dishing it onto the tablecloth instead. I realise the pan was hot but I'd preferred if she'd just let us do it ourselves. The mussels were lovely and flavoursome, as were the prawns - however the rest of the dish was a bit so-so. There wasn't that lovely crust that develops when you cook paella - this one had been stirred. It's a hard dish to do at a restaurant I imagine as it takes awhile to make - but I was disappointed at the lack of authenticity. 

We ordered churros for dessert and these were kind of disappointing too. They crumbled beneath our forks and we constantly lost chunks of them in the dipping sauce (which was heavenly, I'll give them that).

Vida prides itself on being a "Spanish Fusion" restaurant but I think I like my Spanish "unfused" and a little more authentic. It's a nice place for a date - and certainly if you're not fussy about authenticity - then by all means, it's a great spot. 

I'd like to hear from anyone that has found really amazing authentic Spanish food in Brisbane. If you have - drop me a line at the end of this post!

  • Summary: Cosy Spanish-fusion restaurant in New Farm
  • Tip: Definitely order the Sangria. It's lovely and fruity and made with some good quality wine (unlike most other "Mexican" restaurants who will remain unnamed!)
  • Transport: Buses run to Paddington 7 days a week.
  • Where: 14 Collingwood St, Paddington QLD 4064
  • When: Open Monday - Saturday 6pm-10:30pm.
  • Cost:  Tapas $10-$13, Entrees $18, Mains $30, Desserts $15. Paella for 2: $50.
  • Website: 
  • Perfect For: First-time, non-fussy Spanish eaters. Cosy dates. Something different.
  • Downsides: The service is patchy, the waitresses fairly standoffish and disinterested. I'd be interested in their other meals (if I didn't have other restaurants to visit) but if you're picky about your paella - you may be disappointed.