Besito (closed)

Besito, on Barkly street in West Footscray, is a sweet cafe that opened earlier this year. The food at Besito is Colombian, and not knowing much about Colombia or the cuisine, I was eager to find out more. So when they recently started opening for dinner, I wandered down with Alastair, Bro, Maztech and Daz in tow to check it out.

True to form, the boys left the ordering up to Maz and me. Dishes are designed to be shared, though it was a bit hard to judge how much to order as we didn’t know how many pieces came with each dish. Maz and I muddled through, and after a bit of guidance around the menu from the friendly proprieter, we decided on several dishes for the table.

First off, we ordered arepas – flat, round unleavened patties made of ground white corn ($7). They come three to a serve, with a small plate of butter. It was suggested that we put butter inside and let the butter melt. Unfortunately, we let them get a bit cold while we were dealing with all the dishes that started arriving, so I’d recommend getting on to the arepas straight away and eating them hot.

The boys were very keen when they heard the words “meat platter” so we ordered the fritanga ($38) which came with a massive chicken drumstick, pork belly, morcilla, chorizo, steak and yuca chips. The yuca chips were really good – so crunchy – you can also order these separately. If I had known how good they were, I would’ve ordered extra!

The morcilla (black pudding) was also fantastic. Actually, all the meats were pretty good, particularly the big charred chicken drumstick and the pork belly.

We had two serves of the tacos de pescado – soft fish tacos with salsa fresca, rice and chipotle mayo ($18.50). They came two to a serve. Lightly crumbed, the fish was like a posh fish finger.

The mazorca – chargrilled corn coated in spices, fresh herbs and manchego cheese ($8 each) – was fine though I would’ve liked more charring and more spices.

Why did I order two chicken empanadas ($7.50 each) – between six of us? I don’t know why I didn’t just order three so we could’ve easily halved them. Anyway, they were not bad – the pastry was nice and flakey, though I didn’t find the filling that exciting.

The papas fritas – crispy potato with homemade tomato sauce ($6) – could’ve been crispier, but were otherwise fine. (Potato, shrug.)

After eating, I wasn’t hungry but I definitely could’ve eaten more. Instead of ordering more savoury food, we all had dessert instead. Maz, Daz and I all had a serve of the tres leches cake (3 milk cake). This cake is called three milks because it’s soaked in a mixture of three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it: it’s so good.

In hindsight though, I should’ve shared my serve because it became progressively sweeter and sweeter until I was completely defeated. It was very, very nice though and the cake was really fluffy.

Bro had some caramelised milk pudding with chocolate ganache. It was small fortunately, because it was sweet and super rich. It was kind of like eating icing/frosting.

Alastair’s choice for dessert was a brownie – the chocolate was super dark and it was really fudgey. Nice.

All the boys also had a chocolate milk each and they all agreed that it was one of the best chocolate milks they’d ever had.

Besito hadn’t received their liquor licence when we visited, which was a shame because as Alastair said, “It’s the kind of food that would be really good with a beer.” Instead, we had soft drinks and the previously mentioned chocolate milk. Maz’s drink – Pony from Malta – was the most interesting. It was a malt soft drink, which tasted like Horlicks, except not milky.

However, I’ve heard on the grapevine – well, twitter – that they’ve recently received their liquor licence. Hooray!

I thought Besito was nice: not mindblowing, but nice. But definitely nice enough for me to want another visit to try the rest of their menu. 🙂

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590A Barkly Street
West Footscray VIC 3012
Phone: (03) 9689 0586

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