I love my friends :) Because they know me so well! Probably a month ago the Herald Sun published an article “Melbourne’s 25 Best Desserts” and immediately a number of friends texted, emailed, Facebooked and tweeted me the link to it. Nearly brought tears to my eyes that my friends know me and my insatiable sweet tooth so well!
Even though my friends are so supportive of my sweet tooth not all of them are up for the challenge to tackle all 25 desserts…but I know one person who will and that’s Kirk :P He’s a pastry chef after all so he’s gotta have a sweet tooth and trying more desserts will be like research for him! It’s a win-win if you ask me ;)
Anyhow, going down the list of dessert places, San Telmo’s dulce de leche creme caramel caught my attention and I don’t think I’ve had a proper South American meal before ~ So off we went. It was an impromptus catch up so at 6pm on a Sunday I immediately phoned San Telma hoping that they’ll have a table available. Luckily they did and said we can just rock up anytime :)
Like any other restaurant in Melbourne, San Telmo is located on Meyers Place one of the quiet and hidden streets between Spring St and are Bourke St. If you’re driving there you may be lucky like us to find free parking or there’s a car park right in front the restaurant ~
Upon walking in, I could immediately smell the meat on the chargrill and couldn’t want to get some in my mouth :) San Telmo’s also quite a dark restaurant with dark tables and chairs and dim lights. The waiter was friendly and gave us a quite table close by the kitchen so we could see all the chefs in action ~
The menu here is designed to be share with ‘smaller’ and ‘larger’ dishes. We decided to begin with the ‘Mas Pequeno’ small dishes, Kirk chose the Ceviche – Peruvian style which was white fish that was cured in lemon juice with chilli and accompanied with sweet potato and onion. Unfortunately, the fish wasn’t very fresh and the texture of the flesh was a little powdery we also found it to be too sour and overpowered the whole dish.
Since trying pork jowl for the first time last year, it’s now one of my favourite cuts of pork, but it’s still not very popular. We loved the fatty ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ texture of the pork jowl and the crackling was salty with a good ‘crack’ to it :) This was probably the winner of the night!
Next up was a larger dish the ‘Tira De Asado’ these pasture fed beef short ribs had strong chargrilled flavour, I was worried at first that it might have been burnt but not to worry it was cooked perfectly. We were given some chimichurri to go with the ribs, we liked the texture of the beef but found it to be a little bland and it would have been better if it was seasoned with some salt. However, having said that I’ve never really had South American food so I’m not sure if that’s how they cook their meat :)
Don’t know why I was convinced by Kirk to order another beef dish, this time it was the Entrana a pasture fed hanger steak. I like the other name for hanger steak ‘butcher’s steak’ because it’s such a good cut that the butchers’ rather keep it for themselves ~ The hanger steak had really good flavour and was once again chargrilled but we found it to be underwhelming and slightly too chewy for my liking.
After all that meat, finally it was time for dessert or should i say ‘Postres’ :) I could finally try the acclaimed Dulce De Leche Creme Caramel with salted peanut praline. The creme caramel had good caramel flavours but I expected it to taste more like dulce de leche with the condense milk flavour. It also wasn’t as smooth was we expected and Kirk suggested it’s probably because it was over-mixed and too much air had been incorporated. We did like the dulce de leche on top which was sticky sweet and the salted peanut praline where the saltiness helped cut through some of the sweetness (once again not a problem for me :P )
The chocolate mousse was made out of Varlhona 80% dark chocolate with chocolate wafer and blueberries. I don’t generally dislike any desserts but I really couldn’t like this…the texture of the chocolate mousse was grainy and dried out which indicates that it has been pre-made and left in the refrigerator for quite some time. The chocolate wafers were alright but weren’t as crispy as we had liked and we felt the blueberries were a little out of place. Very disappointing :(
To finish up we ordered an Alfajores to share, which is an Argentinian cookied filled with dulce de leche. The biscuit was very thick, dry and crumbly and there was clearly not enough dulce de leche which was a shame :( Instead i was reminiscing the alfajore I had at the Eat Drink Blog conference last year which was thinner with plenty of dulce de leche.
It was definitely a meat overload dinner at San Telmo, I don’t remember the last time I had that much meat in one meal last time was probably ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ Korean BBQ :P Despite trying very hard to like San Telmo, neither of us did. We found the savoury dishes under seasoned and lacked flavour, however, it was the pre-made desserts that was the most disappointing.