19 ACDC Lane
Melbourne Vic 3001
Brought to us by the team behind San Telmo, I knew Pastuso came from good stock but never having experienced Peruvian food I had no idea of what to expect. It turns out expecting nothing and being delivered exceptional food and service has made me into a huge fan of all things Pastuso.
Located on iconic AC DC Lane, Pastuso introduces us to a type of cuisine seldom available in town and takes us on a journey through the flavours of Peru. Designed as a sharing menu they offer a variety of proteins and veg dishes with the jewel in the crown being ceviche. Take your pick, they’ve got kingfish, marlin, salmon, snapper and ocean trout ceviche each beautifully paired with complementary ingredients to ensure maximum flavour in the fish. My personal favourite was the marlin fillet with braised shitake mushrooms, aji mirasol and rice wine vinegar dressing. It was delicate but full of flavour, the kind of dish that one should enjoy of their own without having to share any of it.
Just because ceviche is their ‘thing’, that’s not to say that they didn’t hit the mark on any other fronts. Actually quite the opposite is true, if anything they hit the ball right out of the park. The best example of this is ‘El Pollo’ 1/2 chicken marinated in malt beer and Adean spices, smoked and roasted with a traditional salsa. Now, I’m always hesitant to order roasted chicken because rarely does it hit mark any more than a roast chook from the local chicken shop, however this version was off the charts. The most succulent roast chicken I’ve consumed in ages, but what took it from great to exceptional was the seasoning. The punchy flavour was delicious and seriously brought meaning to finger licking good.
Special mention must also go to other unique dishes like the Huancaina which are native potato chips covered in a traditional Peruvian cheese. From both a taste and textural perspective they were different to normal potato chips but delicious all the same especially once paired with the cheese and chili sauce.
On the dessert front, make sure you try both the Algarrobina (Peruvian Pannacotta) and the Picarones (Sweet potato and pumpkin donuts). Both had a unique flavours which were just delicious.
Lets just say Pastuso is pretty awesome and I’m the newest member of their cheer squad.