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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Naked for Satan, Fitzroy, Melbourne

The world needs more pintxos. These bite-sized snacks aren't common in Australia, but they're found all over bars in northern Spain, usually available at a self-serve counter for patrons and eaten at leisure over a beer.

Pintxos means spike in Basque (pinchos in Spanish), referring to the toothpick that holds the ingredients together, often on top of a piece of bread. You take your time to eat pinxtos, having a few here and there, before taking your collection of toothpicks to the register to work out your total bill.

Inside Naked for Satan

We were down in Melbourne for a flying visit last weekend, invited as guest speakers for a national blogging conference. But a trip to Mexico (south of the border) is always exciting, and we tacked on extra days either side to maximise our eating opportunities. 

Naked for Satan is our first port-of-call, a spot I'd been dying to try ever since I heard about their pintxos on offer. High lofty ceilings, polished timber floors and touches of raw industrial chic welcome us when we step through the door, but our eyes are immediately drawn to the bar area where the pintxos platters are set up on the counter.

Pintxos bar

The pinxtos are usually priced at $2 per toothpick but we've cleverly scheduled our visit to take advantage of the 80c special - available during lunch Monday to Friday and on Sundays after 6pm.

Self-serve pintxos

The range of pintxos available is bewildering at first, and we stand slack-jawed at the counter trying to decide which ones to choose. Each dish is clearly labelled, including vegetarian and vegan options, and tongs are provided for hygiene.

Jamon serrano

At 80 cents each, it's tempting to just take one of everything.

Clockwise from top left: Artichoke and goat's gouda with tapenade (vegetarian); 
chorizo, cream cheese and green chilli; pissaladiere onion, anchovy and olive;
and tortilla and aioli

Grilled vegetable salad and balsamic glaze (vegan)

We pile our plates and take a seat upstairs. Several boutique beers are available on tap - I have the Naked for Satan Ale ($5.50/$8), Suze has the Fat Yak ($8) and Minh gets into the Dirty Granny apple cider ($5.50/$8). Three craft beers from Victoria are on offer: Boatrocker Pilsener, 3 Ravens White and Kooinda Pale Ale ($8.50 each).

Staff occasionally float past our table, offering hot dishes like meatballs on bread or warm grilled chorizo, transferred to your plate with tongs and a smile. It's a brilliant way of eating - savouring our self-designed lunch degustation, dipping in and out of each pintxos as we please.

Clockwise from top left: Ham terrine and dijonnaise; scallop and pea with cherry tomato;
smoked chilli mussel with chickpea; and Naked for Satan Ale

The bread is crusty with a fluffy middle often protected by generous mounds of cream cheese, blue cheese or chickpea puree. I identify my favourites early - the prawn on spiced cauliflower puree is addictively delicious and the eggplant chip with blue cheese is a magical combination of sweet eggplant and golden breadcrumbs hugged by a piquant hillock of blue cheese, cream cheese and honey. I return for seconds of both.

Riceball, cream cheese and quince paste (vegetarian)

We mosey our way through deep-fried arancini rice balls with cream cheese and quince paste; pissaladiere with caramelised onions, anchovies and black olive; and shavings of salty jamon serrano.

The gilda is an appetite-inducing snack of white anchovy wrapped around a spicy jalapeno pickle and surrounded by two green olives. It's salty, sour and spicy and buoys me back to the counter for more.

Gilda: Olives, pickled chillies and anchovy

Seafood with prawn and capsicum

Eggplant chip with blue cheese, cream cheese and honey (vegetarian)

Blueberry cassis cannoli (the only sweet pintxos available when we dined)

Cheekiness is to be expected from a bar called Naked for Satan, and we find plenty of it on the back wall in the upstairs dining area. It's a collage of both men and women in various states of undress, but it's more titillating than seedy.

Titillating poster wall - for boys and girls

There's eye candy for everyone, with the Naked for Satan menus

We carry our bundle of toothpicks to the counter in the mini cups provided. Lunch costs $6.40. Devilishly good.

View Larger Map
Naked For Satan on Urbanspoon

285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9416 2238

Opening hours:
Sunday to Tuesday 12 noon to 12 midnight
Wednesday to Saturday 12 noon to 1am

Pinxtos 80c Monday to Friday lunch and Sunday after 6pm
All other times pinxtos are $2 each

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26 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/03/2011 02:41:00 am


  • At 8/03/2011 5:25 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    so freaking cheap and so freaking delicious why can't Sydney have awesome places like this?!

  • At 8/03/2011 7:00 am, Anonymous tania@mykitchenstories.com.au said…

    Lucky you, looks fabulous. I had no idea it was a pintxos bar. Yeah, some body do this in Sydney, please

  • At 8/03/2011 7:59 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    I'm still amazed that somebody hasn't opened a pintxos bar in Sydney yet although sadly with the strict food hygeine laws we have in this state the platters would be hidden inside glass cabinets. For the two times I've visited San Sebastian in northern Spain, these night-time bars are just about everywhere you turn with the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous displays of food you've set your eyes on. A true spectacle.

  • At 8/03/2011 8:13 am, Anonymous Dumpling Girl said…

    Love how you got the vibe of the restaurant. The food looks nice and easy going, and a steal for $0.80 cents.

  • At 8/03/2011 8:32 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Ahh this looks so awesome, Sydney definitely needs more places like this!

  • At 8/03/2011 8:53 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    That blue cheese spread with the Eggplant was to die for! Still regretting not going back for a second, even if my stomach was telling me no.

  • At 8/03/2011 9:48 am, Blogger Mel said…

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this place & it's going to be my first port of call on my next trip back to Melbourne (along with my beloved Crazy Wings of course)! I love the idea of pinxtos...and just snacking your way through the arvo. The decor here blew my mind - so OTT! LOVE!

  • At 8/03/2011 9:59 am, Blogger spicyicecream said…

    I've been dying to visit this place, will definitely have to go on my next trip to Melbourne! Love your photos too!

  • At 8/03/2011 10:24 am, Anonymous Julie said…

    thanks for blogging this Helen. Looks awesome, can't wait for the next Melbourne trip!

  • At 8/03/2011 10:26 am, Anonymous chopinandmysaucepan said…

    This just goes to show Melbourne restaurants are right up there in terms of creativity and innovative food trends.

    Sydney is lucky with our harbour precinct and beautiful seascapes which sometimes take the focus off food that may be at best ordinary.

  • At 8/03/2011 10:36 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Looks fantastic

  • At 8/03/2011 10:42 am, Anonymous Billy @ A Table For Two said…

    Im sure it wont take long to have a pintxos bar in sydney soon! I love the name though, naked for satan... hehehe, who wouldn't?

  • At 8/03/2011 11:02 am, Anonymous Joseph said…

    We walked past here last time we were in Melbourne. Got to go back now!

    PS Love the bokeh effect in the photo of the Grilled vegetable salad and balsamic glaze!

  • At 8/03/2011 12:02 pm, Anonymous Julia said…

    The name is awesome! I will try this week, I'm in Melbourne!

  • At 8/03/2011 12:04 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    How cute! I hope we get a pintxos bar here in Sydney. I love the pics and post Helen...always so well detailed!

  • At 8/03/2011 12:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's cheap! I'd try one of each, for research purposes only :)

  • At 8/03/2011 1:33 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    80c snacks of that sort looks like a fantastic deal. Looks like you guys did well for yourselves :)

  • At 8/03/2011 2:16 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Helen! Trust you to show me more of these morsels than I've seen on melbourne food blogs combined! I'm excited by how many are vegan... although I also really want the chorizo and cream cheese one, and the mussel and chickpea one.

    And even more, I can't wait for your Melb dessert posts!

  • At 8/03/2011 7:46 pm, Anonymous tinytearoom said…

    Fabulous review. I'm gonna have to keep this place in mind on my next visit to Melbourne. I love the city. The blueberry cannoli looks awesome!

  • At 8/03/2011 9:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    but.. but.. anything with a toothpick is meant to be free! http://simpsons.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Eatie_Gourmet's

    but srsly this looks fresh and interesting and that menu... oh my

  • At 8/04/2011 12:40 pm, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    I cant wait to go to NFS when we are in Melbs next. I love it down there. the food is amanzing and the people watching is fab :)

  • At 8/04/2011 3:04 pm, Anonymous Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi said…

    This is going on my 'must-visit' list for the next time I'm in Melbourne. Worthwhile working out times to go for the 80c special - that's unbelievable! I'm a huge fan of eating lots of different little things so this is perfect.

  • At 8/05/2011 4:50 pm, Anonymous fluorescent light said…

    I'm still amazed that somebody hasn't opened a pintxos bar in Sydney yet although sadly with the strict food hygeine laws we have in this state the platters would be hidden inside glass cabinets. Im sure it wont take long to have a pintxos bar in Sydney soon.Thank you for providing a good information.It is more worthful.I keep on visit your site for more information.

  • At 8/05/2011 10:19 pm, Anonymous Iron Chef Shellie said…

    next day off I'm so going here!!

  • At 8/11/2011 1:36 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    At only 80c a pop, of course you must have one of everything!

  • At 8/17/2011 8:19 am, Anonymous Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said…

    I've been dying to go and try this place too - although perhaps purists might still say it should be free with your beer. Free! An unlikely dream for Sydney and Melbourne I guess..


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