103 Lonsdale St 
Melbourne, VIC 
Spanish food is my homeboy. From rustic pans of paellato jazzed up tapas, I just can’t get enough of it. After all, what’s not to love about a cuisine that’s centred on the freshest of seafood, the most seasonal of vegetables, and each and every cut of meat an animal has to offer? So when Bomba, a new tapas bar, popped up on my radar a few months back, I was ecstatic. Shame I forgot my DSLR, and couldn’t do the pretty little dishes justice with my photography. Boo.  
I don’t know why I expected otherwise, but Bomba was surprisingly trendy. And of course, packed out at 6:30 on a Friday night, Lucky for us, we were seated at the bar instead, with a prime view of the chefs throwing large prawns onto the grill. The heat from the kitchen did make it a bit warm but, we were glad to have found seats at all.
House-Made Sourdough with Olive Oil
A good first impression was certainly made with House-Made Sourdough served with a small dish of olive oil. These chunky wedges of sourdough rivalled Rockpool for my favourite bread served at a restaurant. Not only was it dense yet fluffy at the same time, the delicate wheaten fragrance of the bread was complimented by a dusting of sea salt on the crust. The olive oil was beautiful. 
Blackmore’s 9+ Marble Score Wagyu Cecina ($12, 20 grams)
I wasn’t too hungry and wanted room for dessert, so we decided to order a parade of tapas instead of more substantial dishes. The first one was an indulgent Blackmore’s 9+ Marble Score Wagyu Cecina ($12, 20 grams). Just as the marbling score promised, the gauzy slices of wagyu were veined with fat, giving the beef a luxuriously silken mouth-feel and a richness that spread across the tongue. 
Gazpacho ($4)
Being a hot day and all, I couldn’t go past the Gazpacho ($4), aka tomato soup served ice cold. Being a tapa, it certainly was not enough gazpacho for all, but it was refreshing nevertheless, the light tomato soup garnished with crunchy diced cucumber. 
Charcoal Grilled Corn with Dried Maize ($4)
Thanks to Mamasita, corn on the cob has become cool once more (has it ever been cool?). The rendition at Bomba – Charcoal Grilled Corn with Dried Maize ($4) – was certainly something different. Instead of being covered with cheese and whatnot, this ear of corn was rolled in sweet, toasty crumbs of dried maize. And whilst it was imaginative, I can’t say I enjoyed it very much. Besides reminding me of popcorn, all the corn crumbs did was to make it a dry, and an even messier dish to eat. 
Chicken, Manchego, and Smoked Paprika Croqueta ($3.5)
The Chicken, Mangecho, and Smoked Paprika Croqueta ($3.5) sounded great on paper, but whilst the shell was light and crisp, the smooth interior lacked character.
Tomato Rubbed Bread with Serrano Jamon ($3.5)/Crushed Pea and Goat’s Curd Toast with House Made Morcilla ($6)
The Montadidos section of the menu was something I had never seen before. The idea is little pieces of toast, topped with various ingredients, designed to be eaten in a bite or two. The first of the two we ordered was the Tomato Rubbed Bread with Serrano Jamon ($3.5). This was exactly what it sounded like, and whilst unremarkable, the combination of summery tomato and soft ribbons of jamon were certainly tasty. The other montadidio we ordered was the Crushed Pea and Goat’s Curd Toast with House Made Morcilla ($6). I don’t know when this happened, but I’ve found a strong affection for black pudding, and this one was great. Soft and spicy, it was a rich morsel that was perfectly accompanied by the sweet peas and tangy cheese. 
Patatas Bravas ($7)
We finished our meal with a couple of more substantial dishes. The Patatas Bravas ($7) was our pick for the night. The pieces of potatoes were soft and fluffy, baked with a coat of spices. Served on top were creamy dollops of aioli, and at the bottom was a bed of smoky tomato chutney. It was simple, but simple is good. 
Grilled Asparagus, Lemon, Egg, and Migas ($9)
Grilled Asparagus, Lemon, Egg, and Migas ($9)
The night ended on a positive note with a dish of Grilled Asparagus, Lemon, Egg, and Migas ($9). The pliant sprigs of asparagus were accompanied with an egg that still wobbled, and shavings of a mild, sweet cheese for a meal that’s as good for breakfast as it is for supper.
Given the hype, I though Bomba would’ve been something a lot more special. I know it’s meant to be a simple and homely tapa affair, but I found a lot of the dishes to be quite bland. Whilst it isn’t all that expensive compared to some other places, the price to satisfaction ratio isn’t all that great. I imagine that the worker’s lunch – $15 for a tapa, a racione, and a side – would be the best way to go here.
Rating: 13.5/20 – bravo potatoes.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

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