In the 2011 edition of the Queensland Food and Wine Guide, there was just a single restaurant given their coveted three star rating – Ortiga in Fortitude Valley. Owned by Simon Hill, who ran the acclaimed Isis restaurant for twelve years, Ortiga is a Spanish restaurant that houses both a tapas bar on its ground floor as well as a more formal dining area on the floor below. From its forty page wine selection to its display of cured meats, including jamon that is valued at over $1,000 a kilo, this is a place that is serious about their enjoyment of good food and drink. The head chef Pablo Tordesillas honed his craft at Michelin star rated restaurants Fulham Road in London and Jean Luc Figueras in Barcelona.
We were invited to Ortiga by our good friends Rich and Jill who were celebrating Jill’s birthday. I loved the location of our table which was right next to the open kitchen. It meant we could witness the preperation of the food first hand and were teased before each course of tapas with the amazing aroma of what was to come. It was an incredible night of food and drink.
I’ll wait to give it a bit of time and perspective but I think this was probably my favourite meal that I’ve had in Brisbane. All eight courses were pretty much perfect.
I have had to go to Madrid a few times with work and the food is actually pretty amazing. That Jamon is something else. There is a case for sometimes they love their oil and salt a bit too much, but its great food!