For a special occaision, I decided to succumb to The Age’s Epicure to guide my gastronomic destiny. Nothing like going blind and putting all your money on black. Frankly it didn’t work out too well. Sotano is at the Hilton, that is the new Hilton, which is in the new part of Melbourne – the Docklands/Southbank. It is utterly impossible to navigate to. Coming from South Yarra we were at least 20 minutes late because The Hilton is hindered by copious construction sites and obfuscated by really stupid entrances. By the time you find the car park you will be too hungry for tapas. Bollocks.
Well as far as tapas goes, it’s nothing remarkable. I do agree with Epicure that the charcuterie and cheese boards are kind of cool. Movidas though has real personality in the tapas dishes that Sotano just doesn’t have. Strangely you must have to ask for some phone book wine list. Because on the menu there’s only wine by the glass despite two massive elevated walk in wine fridges over the bar. Those are well worth a guided tour from the somellier. Highly recommended.
All in all after 9pm, the service really, really sucks. The beautiful staff with their very thuper thexy hair styles look busy you’d have more luck getting a drink in a nunnery. By this time, the ‘classic Hilton burger’ is really starting to look like an option over waiting for another round of Sangria and tiny tapas.
If you’re a bright, shiny objects person, this place is new, immersive and very now. Moreover if you think the Docklands is just fantastic then this place is made for you. I am neither and I will be more focused when picking blindly from the Epicure again. In this case they didn’t even wait till the restaurant was built before they reviewed it!