If Melbourne ever gets over the Mexican food trend, will Latin/South American cuisine be the next thing working its way up the hot list?
Piqueos in North Carlton opened late last year, serving Argentinian food with a side of Peruvian. I like South American food so roped in Maz and Dazzle to have dinner a few weekends ago.
The menu is split into piqueos (small bites), raciones (slightly larger starter dishes) and parrilla (charcoal grilled food) with a short list of salads and accompaniments. You can also order the chef’s tasting menu for $60.
From the piqueos part, we ordered two serves of the humita ($6 each) – corn husks filled with char grilled corn puree.
I had to laugh when I opened the corn husk, because honestly? It’s not particularly appetising looking. Fortunately, it tasted much better than it looked – sweet, a little smokey, and slightly spiced.
Piqueos has three types of empanadas available ($4.50 each) so we had one of each:
Carne – beef, olive and egg.
Pollo – chicken and char grilled corn.
Queso – cheese, potato and char grilled onion.
The rich pastries were pretty tasty, with my favourite being the chicken.
We ordered two raciones.
The first was the provoleta ($11) – grilled provolone cheese.
Hot. Dayum. Grilled. Cheese.
As Dazzle said, “There’s not enough grilled cheese in this world,” and it’s a statement I heartily agree with.
The second was the Tira de asado ($19) – slow cooked Little Creek beef short ribs. As expected, they were tender and tasty and didn’t really need any sauce for accompaniment.
And finally, one dish from the parrilla – the pescado ($27) – locally caught fresh fish with chimmichurri and lime. I can no longer remember exactly what fish it was (food blogger fail) but it was a particularly meaty type. I actually wished we had ordered more from the parrilla part of the menu because the fish was lovely and smokey, having picked up great flavours from the grill.
We also couldn’t go past the papas ($8) – thick potato chips.
For desserts, we actually decided we were going to head out for gelato… and then decided we could fit in a pre-gelato dessert.
Dazzle had the Suspira Limeno ($5) – plum pisco meringue on top of a layer of dulce de leche.
Maz and I shared the picaron ($4) – fermented pumpkin donut with purple corn jam. I was interested as to how this would turn out – fermented pumpkin…? It wasn’t particularly pumpkiny (or fermented!) it was just a nice soft donut. The purple corn jam was a nice tangy touch.
I enjoyed dinner at Piqueos but in hindsight we definitely should’ve ordered more from the parilla part of the menu. They seem to be putting that grill to good use and I need more char-grilled meaty goodness in my life.
View Off the spork in a larger map
298 Rathdowne Street
Phone: 03 9349 2777