Friday, January 4, 2013

Review | Piqueos

Since hearing about this brand new Carlton restaurant, I was so excited to try their take on Argentinian and Peruvian cuisine. When we visited Piqueos, it was only their second week of business - so a massive congratulations to them, to get up and running so successfully in the busy December/end of year period.

The staff at the restaurant were all very friendly, and the service was no less that excellent. They were never too busy to explain the menu in detail, or even just to have a friendly chat to us. The decor of the restaurant was also very cool - at the time, I was just about to buy a new camera, and I was really disappointed I didn't have it to take some awesome shots of the restaurant. I will have to go back!!

The menu is designed for sharing. It is broken up into a few main parts - Piqueos, which are small portions to whet the appetite, Raciones, which are slightly larger in portion, but great for sharing, and the Parilla - which are all the delicious meats and fish that have been cooked on the large charcoal grill. We were a bit in shambles deciding how and what to order, but we ended up sharing a few dishes between the group, which was great as we all got to taste a good number of the dishes available.

To start, I couldn't go past tasting a beef Empanada. These were so cute!! But I didn't admire them for too long - they were way too tasty! The photo below shows three of the beef Empanadas, and one chicken one (on the left). The plate was promptly emptied.

Empanadas - $4 each

Next up for me was the Provoleta - grilled provolone cheese. This was one of the highlights for me. The simple combination of the hot, melted cheese with a slight crispiness, and the freshly squeezed lemon juice on top was delicious. I definitely recommend this dish to everyone!

Provoleta - $11

My mum ordered the Pescado, grilled fish from the Parilla, served with Chimmichurri and lemon. I didn't get to taste this, but from what I heard at the other end of the table, it was the most delicious fish in the world! Both my mum and my sister were amazed at the fantastic flavour.

Pescado - $24

For me though, I couldn't leave without trying some meaty goodness. E and I shared the Churrasco - sirloin steak which had been marinated in Chimmichurri for 24 hours..mmmmmmm. If you have read my review of San Telmo, you will know of my love for this condiment. What better way to serve a steak? The meat was perfectly cooked - so tender and moist, and the flavour of the Chimmichurri was so intense and for me, just wonderful.
Churrasco - $29

I tasted a few of the sides that we ordered too. The Zanahoria - blackened carrots that were still so vibrant in colour and fresh in taste, and a great match with the goats curd. Papas - these were some good potato chips! The exterior was so golden and crisp - these were great for soaking up the leftover Chimmichurri goodness from my steak. I left a few chips in my steak plate to marinate whilst I tried a few dishes.

Zanahoria - $8

Papas - $8

The salads at Piqueos were also good. Even though I am not always a fan of seeds, the Ensalada de Quinoa, with pomegranate, and radicchio was so refreshing. We also ordered the Ensalada de Palmitos, with palm hearts, tomato, olive and goats cheese - just to try the palm hearts. I had never had these before, but I really enjoyed these. The soft texture and rather subtle taste reminded me of an artichoke.

Ensalada de Quinoa - $14

Ensalada de Palmitos - $13

After a bit of a break, we were approached by one of the owners, Shaun, to see whether we still wanted to try a serve of the Mollejas. A few days before, my sister had asked me to ask Piqueos whether they had 'Mollejas', so I tweeted the restaurant to ask, without knowing exactly what this dish was. Turns out they do have it, but it isn't on the menu. It also turns out, Mollejas are the glands from animals. Glands! These ones were from the Pancreas area. I wasn't sure whether I would be able to stomach this, but when Shaun kindly brought out the dish, it really looked delicious. Everyone else dug in really quickly, and I only got to taste a small cut of E's molleja. These tasted pretty good. If anyone is game, I do recommend this dish - of course since it isn't on the menu, it would be at Piqueos' discretion!


As the awkward looks started going around the table, I knew that it was time for dessert. I don't mind being the first to bring up the dicussion, since I knew I wanted to taste the Alfajor, and I had also been recommended the Suspira Limeno. So E and I ordered both, naturally!

Both looked so pretty! I was impressed with the amount of Dulce de Leche in the Alfajor, I could see it oozing out the sides as I cut it in half. This made me very happy! The biscuit itself tasted similar to shortbread. I really liked the effect of the pieces of coconut on the outside of the Alfajor, and all in all, this was a delectable dessert.

Alfajor - $4

The Suspira Limeno. Oh my! This was definitely sweet! This dessert was made up of a layer of Dulce de Leche at the bottom, and a luscious, soft meringue over it. Anything with Dulce de Leche is guaranteed to be a hit with me, but this meringue was just a whole other story. I didn't think it was possible, but it was sweeter than the DDL! I definitely recommend this dessert to anyone with a sweet tooth. The serving size was just perfect, and I would order this again in a heartbeat.

Suspira Limeno - $5

Throughout the night, I was impressed with the prices on the menu, I thought they were very reasonable, and good value!

Piqueos is definitely on the path to success. With a great menu, and fantastic staff, I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who would like to try their unique mix of Argentinian and Peruvian food.

See you soon Piqueos!!

Piqueos on Urbanspoon

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