• Simply Spanish (South Melbourne Market)

The massive pans of paella at the front of Simply Spanish, are enough to entice any hungry foodie – except those who are vegetarian.  I was with a group who were not, so forced to follow their cravings ended up at Simply Spanish for lunch on a chilled but lively Saturday afternoon.  The buzz along this strip of the South Melbourne market is like that of any holiday town, and even I, for a moment, was whisked away to the Valencia coast with a bubble of conversation from other diners and the scents of various foods in each direction.

The big paella pans serve the special paella of the day.  The menu says other paellas take 40 minutes to make, but I was informed that the vegetarian ones would be only 15 minutes and recommended the mushroom with pine nuts.

A sharp 15 minutes later, my own paella pan was in front of me looking delightful and somewhat like my dad’s special mushroom risotto.

The mushroom flavour soaked all the way through the rice as if it had been made with mushroom stock.  The texture was moist without being gluggy.  The pine nuts and cheese brought it together and as others tasted mine they declared it would be their order next time (it’s always nice to convert others to vegetarianism, even if it is just for one hypothetical meal).  There are a couple of other vegetarian paellas on the menu too.

Whilst the atmosphere is rushed and lively, service is still friendly and professional enough.  Still, a place like this is all about the authenticity and the food.  And in these areas it served us well.

Simply Spanish
116 Cecil St
South Melbourne 3205
03 9682 6100

Simply Spanish on Urbanspoon


  1. I had paella at Simply Spanish several years ago. I have been a big fan of paella for many many years now. The big pans of paella reminded me of the ones I had in Barcelona and I wasn't disappointed at all. Very happy to know that it is still good and worth going back for. I also love mushroom risotto, especially the fungi porcini one. Ros

  2. I walk past this place every Saturday while doing my shopping and always dream of stopping but I never do! I must try it.

  3. Haha, I thought most people would not be able to resist the massive paellas! Although I think they only have them on the weekends. Let me know what you think :)

  4. Yesterday evening my friends and I decided to visit South Melbourne Market. The thought of the massive pans of paella made me hungry even before we arrived and I convinced my friends to have paella for dinner. The place was packed but we didn't have to wait long at all for our food. It was as good as I had remembered so I wasn't disappointed at all. I love the sight and smell of the paella as they are being cooked.Yum yum yum! Ros