Meat lovers and wine lovers, this needs to be on the top of your must visit places in Melbourne. If you’re looking for a bit of culture in Melbourne, San Telmo showcases Argentinian cuisine at it’s finest. Argentina is known for their meats, tapas and impeccable wines, which is exactly what you will find here. (I apologies for the poor quality photos, the dim lighting made it difficult to get good shots).
San Telmo’s main focus is beef, which is showcased throughout the restaurant from the hides on the walls, leather waiter aprons, fur covered menus and leather placemats displaced on their large wooden tables. From the entrance you are welcomed by a large grilled area, which is the main focus of the restaurant. Here you can watch your food being prepared right in front of you. The option is available to sit at the bar for a bit of a different vibe than sitting in the restaurant.
Wall & bar seating are available near the grill and table seating and private dining are available in the main dining room area. There is a small bar tucked away in the back corner, which most people wouldn’t have the chance to see unless your table wasn’t ready.
The vibe is quite relaxed and chilled, which matches the type of clientele you see here. With a menu focused on meat, meat and more meat, it’s no wonder you see tables full of guys!
The food is designed for sharing, which is a perfect way to try a variety of different dishes. After making our food selections, we were brought two small pots consisting of chimichurri sauce (thyme, oregano, parsley, olive oil and chilli) and criollo (red and green capsicums, tomatoes and red-wine vinegar). These were to be used with the meats that came out to the table to add additional flavours.
Our first dish to arrive were the Empanadas, filled with provolone cheese, mozzarella, basil and capsicum. The outside pastry was quite hard, however the inside was oozing with goodness. It did say there was chilli in it as well, however they lacked any bit.
Shortly after came the pork & paprika chorizo and brócoli. The broccoli was one of my favourite dishes and was similar to a tampura with salted ricotta. Extremely tasty little starter. The chorizo was probably the best I’ve had in a while. It’s homemade with small hints of honey throughout to compliment the spices used in the dish.
Once we had finished our entrees, we had a little break between our next course which was a nice breather. A short 20 minutes had passed before food started rolling out again. It started with the Ojo de bife, which was a 500gm O’Connor premium dry aged rib eye cooked medium rare. It was seasoned beautiful, had a beautiful char grilled flavour and was cooked to absolute perfection.
I’m more of a chicken person, so when a juicy piece of chicken made it’s way to the table, I was stoked. I’ve never had such a juicy piece of chicken before and had just the right about of salt, garlic and oil to my liking. This mixed with the chimichurri sauce was a perfect 10!
For sides we went with the Papas (duck fat roasted potatoes with spiced tomato and lemon aioli) and Zanahorias (burnt carrots with hazelnuts and thyme with garlic goats curd). Both dishes were beautiful and definitely went for seconds on both! The carrots were slightly undercooked, however were still extremely tasty.
The final dish to come to the table was the Tarta Toffee (chocolate and honeycomb tart with dulce de leche and dulce de leche ice cream). Dulce de leche is a caramelised milk and sugar sauce which is very typical in the Latin American cuisine. So to see it on the menu, was a no brainer when choosing how to finish the night.
This was probably the only critic of the night. The hostess when we arrived was a bit rude with his welcome. He gave us a short hello and then proceeded to let us know we had only two hours on the table (which wasn’t told at the time of booking). Although this really wasn’t an issue for us, he could have mentioned this in a much friendlier way as he showed us to our seat.