I first heard about Naked for Satan a couple of months ago and had absolutely no desire to visit. I’m one of those people who, I’m a little ashamed to say, judge a book but its cover, a wine by its label and, obviously, a restaurant by its name. ‘Naked for Satan’ sounded a little too weird for my all too conventional lifestyle. But then I heard about their pintxos, which seemed like an interesting concept. That and the fact the pintxos are only $2 each (or 50c at lunch on weekdays) meant that I went into Naked for Satan with a nothing-to-lose attitude.
The restaurant was a lot bigger than I’d expected, with soaring ceilings and lots of shiny copper finishes – think Willy Wonka as the interior designer… with a copper fetish. There was a dimly lit section at the back which had low tables with couches and high tables with bar stools. We arrived late in the afternoon and stood at the entrance, waiting to be acknowledged. We waited and waited, but there was no acknowledgement from the staff. Finally, M went up to the bar to ask how it was all meant to work and was told to grab a table, choose your own cold pintxos from the bar and wait for the staff to circulate with the hot ones. Easy enough!
My favourites from the selection above were the eggplant and caramelised onion. The seafood pintxos was disappointing low quality. I thought it would taste something like tamara dip – but no… it tasted bland and borderline plastic-y. The chirozo and octopus weren’t too bad, but would’ve been better warm. Speaking of warm pintxos, there weren’t as many of those being brought around as I’d hoped, but the first one that did come around ended up being my favourite pintxos of the night – the veal schnitzel! It was crispy on the outside and the veal was juicy and tender – very yum!
Since they weren’t that forthcoming with the warm pintxos, we headed back to the bar for a 2nd round of the coldies.
Round 2 wasn’t as exciting as round 1 (which was to be expected, given that round 2 comprised of those that didn’t make our cut for round 1!). They were edible, but a little mehhh… The rice ball was extra mehhh… I’m not a big fan of rice at the best of times, let alone cold rice… Thank goodness there was another warm pintxos to come around…
I quite enjoyed my quick visit to Naked for Satan – the food didn’t blow me away, but I wasn’t expecting it to. At $2 a pop, I really didn’t expect much from the pintxos and, on average, they at least met my expectations. I do think that the pintxos would’ve been a step up from what they were if the bread base was fresher and better quality – it would be a small adjustment that would make a big difference. Having said that, I do realise the place is first and foremost a watering hole and the pintxos are merely an accompaniment and not the focus. And for less than $15 for a tummy full of food, I really can’t complain.