La Paella is many things to many people – a place down Sydney Road for supreme Spanish paella, as its name suggests, and local Indian restaurant – but its primary focus is some of Melbourne’s most distinguished Moroccan cuisine. There’s even a special royal Moroccan tent available inside for private booking, framing your delicious meal of tagine-based delicacies with a scene reminiscent of a Middle Eastern caravanserai. Taking its commitment to North African and Arabic cuisine one step further, this Brunswick restaurant doubles as a bazaar, offering guests the chance to purchase curios and gourmet deli products to bring their La Paella experience home.
Yes, La Paella does a lean, mean line in Spanish paella. Choose from chicken, chicken and seafood, just seafood or vegetable paella, all made with Spanish saffron rice and the freshest ingredients. Its best to indicate when you book if you intend to indulge in one of these dishes – made to order they can take some time to prepare. Curiously, La Paella is also an established Brunswick Indian restaurant, with all your favourite South Asian dishes represented alongside some special items like haleem, paya, and nihari for Melbourne’s connoisseurs. However, the main attraction at this Sydney Road hotspot has to be the superb selection of Moroccan dishes on offer.
To this end, La Paella has created a fantastic range of traditional Moroccan tagine options that are top ranked in Melbourne’s crowded Arabic dining scene. Beef, lamb and chicken tagine are slowly cooked in a sweet cinnamon and Moroccan herb sauce alongside prunes and toasted almonds for an incredibly fragrant North African culinary experience. Go one better and book La Paella’s luxurious tent and indulge in set menus for a fixed price per head for two or more people. The most lavish of these begins with harira soup with homemade bread, beef tagine and chicken paella plus Moroccan mint tea. There’s also a seafood platter available featuring a mix of prawn shashlik, fried fish, Moroccan mussel balls and seafood paella. Located in busy Brunswick, be sure to book your tables (or tent) well in advance.