Thursday 20 October 2011

First glimpse of San Telmo, Melbourne's new Argentinean grill

San Telmo
14 Meyers Place, Melbourne (map)
9650 5525

San Telmo window

I know, it's very naughty of me to write about a restaurant that's only been open for about five minutes. But tonight I had a really great meal at San Telmo, and in my excitement I really wanted to share my first impressions. They're still very much in soft open mode (eg limited menu), so go easy on them if you visit this week.

San Telmo facadeWine racks

I've wittered on in the past on the blog about my love for Porteño, Sydney's sexy, stylish Argentinean grill. I'm thrilled that Melbourne too now has a similar establishment, a big glam restaurant that places Argentinean grilled meat centre stage.

San Telmo is brought to you by Jason McConnell (The Aviary and The Vic, cousin of Andrew and Matt), wife Renee and Dave and Mickey Parker. It's located in Meyers Place, next door to Lily Blacks.

San Telmo

The interior is all black and white tiles and wood and cowhide leather (the waiters even wear brown leather aprons). The grill is at the entrance of the restaurant, and the cocktail bar and small courtyard are located out the back.

San Telmo

Loved the mosaic wallpaper of photos of famous Argentines!


The sliding door entrance/exit to the toilets vestibule is operated by a green light button that you have to press, which is kinda gimmicky and silly (but fun).

Exit buttonWallpaper detail

The restaurant's centrepiece, the gigantic Parrilla (coal grill) with a lever that looks like it should be switching railroad tracks, required not only transportation from Argentina by boat but also a genuine Argentino engineer to assemble it.


Cowhide menu!

Cowhide menuChorizo, Zappallito

Among the dishes we tried were the chorizo ($16) and the zappallito (grilled zucchini, asparagus, toasted almond, $10). Oh, and 300g of fantastic entraña steak ($36), served with plenty of chimichurri and a mean-looking mother of a knife. If we hadn't been dining with a no pork girl, we definitely would have ordered the roast pork neck as well.


Loved the morcilla ($14) too. And you MUST leave room for one of these alfajores (Argentine cookies filled with dulce de leche, $5 each).


Really looking forward to revisiting once it's fully operational!


adriana@mouthtomouthfood said...

You've just made my day, i have been waiting for this place to open for a while, so excited to go try. :)
Looks like another great Melbourne restaurant...

MoMo & Coco said...

Thanks for the news! Looking forward to trying this place. Because we are such dessert-nuts, can you tell us how many desserts were on the menu, so we can round up either a small or large group of friends? :P

Thanks again for your insight! :)

Relle said...

Oh wowsa's clearly I have to check this joint out! I've recently moved to Melbourne and while everything is still very exciting I have been blogging up a storm on my new site
Hopefully you get to check it, thanks chica.

Vee said...

Glad that Melbourne's finally catching up with the Argentinian grill craze that's hit Sydney. Will give them a week or two to sort out their teething issues! :)

Phil said...

I love that they're doing a good skirt steak - it's such an underrated cut and pretty hard to find around Melbourne.

Dan said...

Been waiting for this baby to open for ages, nice scoop. Have heard they're doing breakfast there, will stop by this week.

Anonymous said...

Never tried Argentinean before.. looks amazing, thanks for the heads up :)

Ashley said...

I was just reading about this place on the Agenda and was hunting around for an idea of the menu, looks like an amazing dining experience though. Thank you for sharing, hopefully will get to pop by soon... :)

@Honeycrackle said...

I ate here last night, thanks for the heads-up Claire. They're now serving a full menu, and the place was 3/4 full, on a Tuesday night. There's a few wrinkles to be ironed out FOH, but the staff are really trying to impress, and they were genuinely interested in what we thought of the meal.

The food was excellent. We thought portion sizes for the meat dishes are relatively small, given the cost (many $40+), but we were surprised that the total bill was just over $300 for the 4 of us. We had 4 sides, 3 meat dishes, and 3 desserts, plus about 6 wines. And you're right, the alfajores, the cookies - *drool*

We'll be back, and they welcome drinks at the bar, if you're just after an after work knock-off. Although, with the great smells wafting through the place, I challenge you to go there without eating.

Reuben said...

Great food, authentic flavours and preparation, but not really authentic experience: parillas aren't fine-dining in Argentina (with a few exceptions), they're mostly low-key, family/community oriented places and generally much better value for money.

Food was excellent, service less so (very poor floor management - wrong orders came to our table, too few staff for the number of customers), but they're finding their feet.

I'll be going back, but more careful on the consumption level of excellent Malbec - blew the tab right out!

The Convenient Kitchen said...

We cannot wait to try this! Very excited!Great review - thanks!

Food Wine Sleep said...

Looking forward to getting back to Melbourne to try this place out, you make it sound fab, even if it was only open 5 minutes!!

Anonymous said...

Found a new Argentian ice cream place in Lygon St that would go really well with food at San Telmo...Helados Jaura