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Canberra Spanish Club

By 6 June 2010 8

Recently I have noticed some signs out near the Spanish Club in Narrabundah advertising Les Tapas restaurant/cafe, primarily it seems selling $15 Schnitzels, (I know, not very spanish). I have often wondered what the Spanish Club is like but have never been able to find any info on it – no website or written info as such that I can locate.

Does anyone know if this is an ok place to go to eat? And is it children friendly? Have been into spanish food and wine recently and would like to see if they have anything more authentic than a schnitzel? I have also heard or read somewhere there is a van that comes to the club from Sydney once a month on a Sunday with spanish deli items and more interestingly hot churros – which would be fantastic on a cold morning. I have had churros from Fyshwick markets, and whilst nice, I found the seller to be less than friendly.

Any info would be good.

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8 Responses to Canberra Spanish Club
#1
liability10:35 am, 06 Jun 10

I have been to the Spanish Club a few times for work, the last time about a year ago.

It’s been there since the 1960s. Its members are mostly elderly [60 years plus] people of Spanish heritage. Its only open Thursday/Friday/Saturday evenings [or that was the case last time I was there].

It’s pretty much a place for elderly Spaniards to meet, talk Spanish, drink and play cards.

I am not sure about it being children friendly. There are normally lots of old and frail people in the club, not sure how they would cope with children running around.

It’s quite small, there is a bar and lounge area at the front, and a large “Ladies Room” at the back where the female members normally gather to play cards and chat. Bit old fashioned – men normally stay in the bar area at the front of the club, laides in the room out the back.

I have never eaten there so can’t comment on the food, but from my few encounters with club management and members, I imagine that they would not put up with food that was crap.

Membership is open the general public [I think that might be an ACT licensing requirement], but they don’t advertise and from what I could tell whenever I was there all of the members were either Spanish born, or of Spanish descent.

Like a lot of clubs it may be struggling in recent times, so that may be why they are now advertising to some extent.

#2
Alan Shore3:01 pm, 06 Jun 10

I think I recall being sent an advertisement/invitation to the opening of a new restaurant at the Spanish Club. I think it was about six months ago. I too have seen the $15 schnitty sign, and though perplexed by the unspanishness of it, am sorely tempted to go have a meal. So I suppose they decided to reinvigorate the place six months or so ago, and have plonked the sign on the main drag to draw people in.

It must be tough for them to compete with the nearby Harmonie Club, which does $10 schnitties (or Kasseler – mmm, Kasseler!). Used to get a free soup there, too, but they seem to have discontinued this. They also have the benefit of being clearly visible from Jerra Ave, with a big chunk of the Berlin Wall outside.

But the Austrian Club in Mawson is still the winner in the ethnic club cheap lunch stakes. $13.50 for either of: meatloaf, pork schnitzel, chicken schnitzel, roast pork or occasionally Kohlrouladen. Oh, the Kohlrouladen!!! With your choice of two sides: Bratkartoffeln, Rotkohl, Sauerkraut, Spaetzle, Knoedel, chips or mixed veggies. And a soup as well (look out for the potato and carrot – amazing). Only open Thursday and Friday lunch, more’s the pity!

#3
Anna Key8:59 pm, 06 Jun 10

hmmmm el schnitzel pollo con parmigianadad. bueno

#4
Kali3:19 pm, 02 Feb 11

Schnitzel: ‘filete empanado’ – pretty common in Spanish kitchens and in south america a ‘parmi’ is called a “milanesa” and is also pretty commonplace in Argentina or Chile. So not as ‘foreign’ as you might think. The Spanish Club: is a pretty quiet little club and is really attempting to ‘branch out’ to the general population of Canberra. The ACT Rock n Roll club has been doing functions there for a while, as have a few other community groups. The club has a Flamenco group for adults and kids (Sol de España) and a Football Club (Narrabundah FC) which is full of just about every nationality on the planet and has 5 teams from social to serious. The restaurant is pretty good, trying a modern slant on some Spanish dishes and traditional Aussie club fare. The bar has a wide range of Spanish and Australian beer (try the Mahou Negra black beer or the Cruzcampo Lager) and wines. Yes, Oscar the deli man from Wollongong comes up once a month on a Sunday and has AWESOME cheeses, salami, cured ham, tinned seafood (squid in its own ink…YUM !) and cooking implements…drop in for a beer on a Saturday afternoon and have a look for yourself. Plenty of non-Spaniards are members…I’d like to think that Spaniards integrate pretty bloody well into aussie culture too !

#5
Kerryhemsley4:26 pm, 02 Feb 11

Nice bit of spin work Kali aligning your standard aussie club schnitty and parmi with european and south american cuisine.

#6
liability4:27 pm, 02 Feb 11

Not the oldest thread I have seen dragged up, but still not a bad effort :-)

The fellow who ran the club the last time I was there [18 months ago] was an Aussie guy who married into a Spanish family, nice fellow, I think his name was Chris.

Whilst most of the clientele are elderly Spanish born people, they always make you feel at home and I have found it not too bad. The one one meal I had there [Schnitzel] was quite nice and the price was right.

It used to only be open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons/evenings, though I am not sure if that is still the case.

I always found it interesting that they didn’t go out of their way to get new business by advertising, etc. The club is run by volunteers and I suspect that they were happy potting along with their current clientele.

When I was there one of the [volunteer] staff told me that the money they made from the half dozen or so pokies they have kept the place alive.

#7
MissPeaches4:33 pm, 02 Feb 11

I would agree with others descriptions about the club and its simplicity.

I have been there for some functions where they generally serve a tapas menu and it is quite yummy. I couldn’t tell you what the price is.

They are trying a lot harder to increase their membership numbers.

Narrabundah Football Club is associated with the Spanish Club

You won’t know unless you go try it.

#8
christovich11:09 pm, 01 Oct 11

The restaurant ‘Las Tapas’ ceased trade and the club is searching for a spanish chef, or at the least a chef with good experience with spanish cuisine. Friday nights are quite busy with children around because of the Flamenco dance lessons, starting with 5 year olds ( really cute )

There is a festival happening there on the 23rd of October 2011 ” Fiesta 2011 ” you can get ‘Churros y Chocolate’ for breakfast from 10 am and the rest of the day will be Paella and tapas with traditional ‘Sangria”. Traditional dancing with ‘Sol de Espania’ starting at 11 am also Chille and Mexico will be representing their dancing. They also have a jumping castle for under 12′s coming for the day.

On Saturday 22nd October 2011 guest speakers will do presentations from 2 pm. Tony Kevin who did the Camino de Santiago walk then wrote a book about his experience will speak also other speakers from the Embassy of Spain.

Oscars deli from Woolongong comes on the 1st sunday of the month with a wide range of imported Spanish foods, he kicks off at 7 am, well worth experiencing also the Churros for breakfast.

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