Monday, 19 October 2015

San Telmo

San Telmo in a word?  Perfection. With its flawless food, commendable staff and alluring atmosphere - the Argentinian inspired steakhouse is without a doubt one of my new favourites.

From the minute you walk through San Telmo's doors the aromas of polished wood, charcoal-grilled meat and exotic spices tease the senses - whisking you away to a place a million miles from the Melbourne CBD. 

Whilst the service was a touch slow off the mark (taking approximately 15 minutes to receive a menu), once we were attended to the staff were more than happy to spend the time with us to navigate the menu and help us choose our food and wine.

Tying in with its homely vibe, San Telmo's dishes are made to share - so to eat we ordered the following:

Beef, egg, olive and potato empanadas
Lemon cured white fish with chili, sweet potato and onion
Fried broccoli with pecorino
Eye fillet carpaccio with Dijon aioli, baby onions, cornichons, mojama and potato crisps

Pasture fed lamb rump spiced with coriander and chipotle

O'Connor's premium pasture fed hanger steak

O'Connor's premium pasture fed eye fillet

Crushed potato, green olive, parsley and garlic aioli

Burnt carrots with hazelnuts, thyme, and garlic goats curd

Grilled asparagus, beans, almonds, pickled garlic and herbs
Elegant but vibrant, the lemon cured white fish and the beef carpaccio dishes delivered on both technique and flavour. Whilst I wouldn't have thought raw beef would have been high on my list of recommendations, the silkiness of the eye fillet paired with the acidity of the baby onions and cornichons, and the crunch of the potato crisps, made it an exceptional dish (and definitely one worth a try).

Lemon cured white fish with chilli, sweet potato and onion

Eye fillet carpaccio with Dijon aioli, baby onions, cornichons, mojama and potato crisps

Whilst definitely the ugly duckling of the starter dishes, the fried broccoli with pecorino was yet another flawless dish - a cleverly modern way to combine the well known (and loved!) flavours of broccoli and cheese. And the empanadas? Oh the empanadas! Don't even think about ordering your starters without including some of these traditional Argentine pastries. 

Fried broccoli with pecorino
Then came the mains....

When asked the question of where the best steak is in Melbourne, I've often heard people say San Telmo in response and, after the cuts of meat we tried on this occasion, I can definitely see why.  The hanger steak, eye fillet and lamb rump were all exceptional - cooked medium rare, the meat was incredibly tender and rich with flavour.

O'Connor's premium pasture fed eye fillet
O'Connor's premium pasture fed hanger steak

Whilst often coined a steak house, San Telmo's side dishes still managed to steal the show (well, at least some of the show).  Complimented by a range of herbs, nuts and sauces, the perfectly cooked vegetables offered an exciting blend of textures and flavours that worked well with the accompanying meat dishes.  

Burnt carrots with hazelnuts, thyme, garlic and goats curd

A meal that exceptional cannot be abandoned without trying a desert - so to finish I had the dulce de leche crème caramal with salted peanut praline.  Not too sweet and nicely balanced by the crunch and saltiness of the praline, it was a delicious way to end an exceptional meal.

Dulce de leche crème caramel with salted peanut praline

Décor: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Total: 14.5/15
Verdict: The new fave - put as number one on the to do list.

San Telmo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato