Why are we always hungry? And we’re always craving something or other. When we were invited to Sorocco, a new tapas restaurant in the Plateau, we thought to ourselves how it had been awhile since we had gone out for tapas. These little Spanish or Basque dishes are perfect for sharing, we like that you get to try a bit of everything as opposed to one big dish per person.
Sorocco is an unassuming little restaurant on St-Denis in the Plateau. Before the sit down dinner, various tapas were being passed around. Our favourite was the scotch eggs, this British pub snack had a Spanish flair with chorizo as the sausage of choice. Each quail egg was oozing with yolk and topped with chives, it was a nice rendition of this British appetizer.
In that traditional Spanish fashion we started our dinner with marinated vegetables, olives, sliced chorizo and manchengo cheese. The chorizo was bursting with flavour and went perfectly with the manchengo cheese. Sorocco even added some soppressata for a little twist that was a nice variation to the chorizo. The marinated vegetables were nothing special, but the mixed olives were nice.
The croquettes were one of our favourite tapas, their breading was crispy, just the way we like it and it was oozing with béchamel when we broke through the crust. Chorizo and leek was finally chopped and mixed with the béchamel for a salty bite and tons of flavour. This dish was served with salsa to dip the croquettes, we absolutely loved it and couldn’t get enough.
We can be bitches, and we’re absolutely tired of fried calamari, it’s everywhere and it’s boring. But Sorocco impressed us by serving tons of tentacles and not as many rings of calamari. Not for the faint of heart, the tentacles were crispy and delicious, more so when dipped in an orange chili Thai sauce. It was almost like a spicy jam, good enough to eat with a spoon, and perfect with the calamari.
The shrimp salad left much to be desired. Lathered in a mayo based dressing with peas, corn, carrots and potatoes, the creamy dressing eradicated the taste of the shrimp. It tasted like a cheap potato salad, with shrimp tossed in to jazz up the dish, but it fell short. Dill was used to season the dish but it didn’t punch any flavor and it was definitely missing salt.
Pil Pil shrimps are a traditional Basque tapas that’s simple but with a kick. The shrimp were a good size and though they were pan fried with the traditional garlic and chili pepper, they lacked in flavour. This shrimp dish should be very garlicky with a touch of heat from the chili peppers but instead it was lacking. We should have been fighting over bread to dip into the sauce, instead we simply ate these bland shrimp and left the rest in the dish for the other bloggers we were sharing a table with.
The blue cheese pork filet was our favourite of the main dishes. Pork is a tricky meat, it can be very tender but it can easily be overcooked and bland. The tender pork filet at Sorocco was delicious. Thinly sliced in the creamiest blue cheese sauce, we couldn’t get enough of it. Served with sautéed mushrooms, it was mouthwatering. We’re drooling a bit just thinking about it now.
And of course an experience at a tapas restaurant would not be complete without the traditional paella. Saffron rice was tossed with peas, peppers, calamari and shrimp in the usual mish mash of flavours. The mussels were perfectly cooked and they decorated the top of the dish, coriander was a dominant flavour, but the colour of the rice also set us off. We should disclaim that we aren’t huge fans of paella, but this one lacked salt and that kick that one usually gets from cooking the rice in a seafood broth. Meh!
We were told that the dessert is something that each table gets at the end of the meal and is made by the chef’s grandmother. And if a grandmother is involved in the cooking, you know it’ll be good, and this dessert was just that! It was a combination of sweet shortbread with dark chocolate and pecans in the form of a bar, or brittle. All we can say is that it was delicious and definitely something to look forward to!
The aim of Sorocco is to offer tapas at an affordable price, an inexpensive meal for people who want to go out and enjoy wine, good company and a bite, without breaking the bank. They have a chalkboard menu that can change as they see fit, and it may end up being a good little spot to start your night, but they need to improve on a few things first.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 4621 rue St-Denis, Calamari, Chorizo, Croquettes, Manchengo, Montreal Restaurant, Paella, Plateau Restaurant, Plateay, Pork Filet, Scotch Egg, Shrimp, Sorocco, Sorocco Montreal, Sorocco Tapas, Spanish Food, Spanish Tapas, tapas