Whilst we can’t travel to our favourite Tapas filled country, Spain. You can get a step closer to the authentic, Spanish cuisine in the heart of Melbourne at El Boquerón restaurant.
Bring the Fiesta to you and indulge in the finest Paella and imported Spanish wine that Melbourne has to offer. The husband and wife duo bring you a culinary experience that encapsulates their culture from the outskirts of Spain.
CROWDINK was fortunate to have an interview (virtually) with Carmen Martin, the Founder of El Boquerón restaurant.
CROWDINK: How did your business begin?
My partner and I migrated to Australia four years ago to work at my brother in law’s Spanish restaurant called Meigas, in Ballarat. At the beginning of this year we decided to take advantage of the experience we gained working at Meigas for the past four years, plus all our knowledge of our culinary culture -in my case from Malaga, in my partner’s case from Galicia -and start our own restaurant in Melbourne.
CROWDINK: What is the imagination behind the business name?
Boqueron is the nickname they give to those people who are from Malaga. We decided to name our restaurant El Boqueron because it is reflective of our origins and represents home for us. Anyone that has been to Malaga and sees the name of the restaurant immediately associates it with the place.
CROWDINK: What was the inspiration behind your business?
To bring a piece of Spain to the heart of Melbourne. We want people to walk into the restaurant and feel like they are back in a tapas bar in Spain.
CROWDINK: What motivates you and your business?
To serve only authentic, good quality and unpretentious traditional dishes of Spanish cuisine.
CROWDINK: Have you been impacted by COVID-19? If so, what have been some of the challenges and how have you overcome them?
As the rest of hospitality businesses in Melbourne, we have been forced to close and only do takeaway. It has been extra challenging for us because we opened the restaurant to the public for the first time in June and we were only open for two weeks before the lockdown hit. We were only beginning to make a name for the restaurant and gaining clientele, so it has been hard to continue to do so while only being able to serve our dishes for takeaway. Furthermore, having opened during the pandemic we did not qualify to any of the government’s grants and have had to rely on our savings to keep the business afloat and get by during lockdown.
To overcome them we have relied on the support of the Spanish speaking community in Melbourne who have been key in spreading the word and sharing us on social media. Plus, we have had a lot of support from locals in our neighbourhood who keep coming back and telling their friends, for which we are really grateful.
CROWDINK: Do you have a motto in life that you live by?
Always look forward, never look back.
CROWDINK: What do you believe is the future of your industry?
Things look a little bit bitter at the moment for the hospitality industry, but I do believe that it is an industry that will make a full recovery, particularly in a city like Melbourne where people enjoy their food and culture and the arts.
To view their menu, please click here. Follow them on Facebook here and stay up to date with specials and news on their Instagram page, here.