San Telmo

San Telmo
14 Meyers Place, Melbourne, VIC Australia
03 9650 5525

I stumbled across San Telmo one night when I was looking for somewhere different for visiting friends.  Unfortunately it was booked out that night and I have been meaning to go there for some time.  Finally we managed to make a booking and went there on a cold, dark Melbourne night.

The menu is separated into four main sections: smaller, accompaniments, from the charcoal grill and desserts.  As per Ms I-Hua’s suggestion, we kept the entree simple and ordered one entree: the polenta, corn and basil chips with chipotle mayonnaise $12.

The polenta chips are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the inside.  It’s a little bit bland but the chipotle mayo provided a slight fiery kick to make things more interesting- recommendation?  SLATHER those mayo ON!

We pretty much jumped into the charcoal grill dishes, which is what San Telmo is famous for.  Their 2.5 metre parrilla (char-grill) is their pride and joy, handmade by a master.

First up, the calamari $18.  It was a little bowl but oh boy what a dish!  The tendrils are super tender while the top of the calamari is slightly crunchy in a weird good way.  The calamari was well seasoned and the parrilla certainly imparts some awesome smokiness into the dish.  YUM!

Braised Berkshire pork jowl ‘cheek’ with crackling $19 was next.  I actually like this dish least.  Yes the crackling is certainly crunchy, the meat is definitely tender and juicy.  Well, that’s the thing.  The meat is tender… when you can actually find some.  This dish has so much fatty jelly bits that it was a heart attack waiting to happen.

I debated between the beef short ribs ($28) and the Rangers Valley grain fed rump cap ($33 for 250g).  Thankfully I decided on the rump cap because who knows how fatty the beef short ribs would be?  The rump cap was cooked medium rare, pre sliced for the ease of eating.  The meat is quite tender, once again has that yummy smokiness that makes everything tastes so good.

You also get two sauces for the steak.  One is tomato and capsicum and the other is basil, red wine vinegar and garlic.  When I tasted these two by itself I like the basil one better cos it’s awesomely garlicky.  However when the meat came, we both agreed that the tomato and capsicum cuts the fattiness better and enhances the meaty flavours.

Hubby decided to be virtuous and instead of ordering the potato galette, ordered the sweet potato.  It was nicely cooked and all but nothing mind blowing $12.

After our mains we perused the dessert menu.  Nothing really stood out for hubby but the crepes caught my eyes, so we decided to share the crepes $14.  We were presented with two beautifully crepes, atopped with burnt orange to intensify the flavours.  Between the sheets of crepes were sweetened ricotta.  To mellow out the sweetness, a rosemary syrup was drizzled on the cake.  YUMMY.

Overall, the food was great.  Two things to note though:  The service was quite slow, and the dining room is quite stuffy and hot, perhaps due to the chargrill.  I can’t imagine eating here in the height of summer.  Otherwise, we definitely had a good time at San Telmo :) 7.5/10

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