Sunday, 29 March 2015

Che Asado - Southbank

Last Friday, I was walking through Southbank after dinner. As I walked around, I was captivated by the fragrance of burning meats. As I followed the smell, I found myself outside Che Asado, an Argentinian BBQ restaurant that opened at the end of 2014. Without much hesitation, my companions and I made plans to go this week.

We arrived just past 6.30 and found the restaurant to be quite packed. We waited at the entrance for a short while and were lead to a table.

As we walked past the kitchen, we could really appreciate the aroma of the food coming out.

The menu is pretty simple, with one side dedicated to food, whilst the other side is dedicated to drinks. 

Cutlery was then provided to us. It's probably noteworthy that we found the knife to be really quite insufficient for cutting the meats we ordered to share.

We were also given some Chimichurri, a traditional Argentinian sauce made from parsley, minced garlic, sunflower oil, oregano, and white vinegar. Some of my companions found it to be not very sour enough, but I found it sufficient.

Table water was also provided quite promptly.

The first thing to arrive was our Deep Fried Cauliflower. I really enjoyed the crispy batter on the outside, as well as the nice touch of the paprika aioli. On the flip side though, my companions did consider the cauliflower to be slightly under done.

One of the highlights of our meal was the skewers. We got the tiger prawns as well as the chorizo skewers. I liked how the prawns were well seasoned, as well as how the middle bit was already shelled. It meant that I didnt need to get my hands dirty.

 For an option of an additional $3, we got the additional hand cut chips and salad. I found the salad to be a really refreshing interlude in the meaty meal, however I found the hand cut chips to really be cut too big. They shape reminds me more of thick cut wedges or roast potatoes than chips. I would definitely have liked them more if they were more 'chip' shaped. I would also have liked it better if it came with some sauce or condiment.

The Chipa was the next thing that arrived. Chipa is a small baked cheesy bread roll that originates in Argentina, which is often sold in street markets. Having never tried this before, I was quite keen to get a taste. I found it to be quite bread-y, but not very cheesy. I could definitely taste the cheese, but it was not more than a hint. For a cheesy bread roll, I would have liked it better if it were cheesier.

Our mains were served next, and the first to arrive was the 400g Flank, served medium rare. Compared to the rump (next photo), it was much more easy to cut up, although it would have been nicer with more sauces or marinade. The meat texture was good, though, and I definitely liked how it was served cut up, which made it all the more easy for us to share.

Next up came our shared 600g rump. For once in a very long time, I found it cooked just right. I really liked how the beef had a strong meaty flavour to it, as is expected from a rump, however it did proove to be quite difficult in cutting up (it was very very chewy). There was also quite a thick strip of fat on the side, which was easily dealt with. In terms of flavouring, I definitely liked this more than the flank, however I would have enjoyed it more if it were more tender and had a bit more seasoning.

Our final shared main was the Crispy Pork Belly. Of all the mains, this was probably done the best. It was deeply seasoned so that we could get a good taste, even deep into the meat. The skin was very crispy and had a great smokey taste to it. We also found it considerably less fatty than pork belly we have had at other places, and thoroughly enjoyable. 

Last to arrive was our side of the hand cut fries. For some reason, the hand cut fries in the side portion came out a lot better than the hand cut fries as an optional add on for the skewers. The cutting was a lot more like wedges, (i.e. they were relatively thinner), and the chips were better seasoned. I also liked the aioli, but think it would be better with more garlic flavour to it. 

Overall, we had a pretty interesting meal at Che Asado. This is the first time that I've had Argentinian, so I am not able to say whether or not it is authentic, or traditional, but I can say that I enjoyed it and was happy to try out something new and exciting.

Price Range: $25 - $35 per person

Taste: 7/10
Value: 5/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 6/10 (clean, but no aircon)

Che Asado on Urbanspoon

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