If you love a barbecue, you’ll absolutely love Palermo, but don’t expect your average steak and sausage menu. Brought to you by the team behind Pastuso, San Telmo and Che – all stars of Melbourne’s South American dining scene – Palermo is a fresh take on Argentinian-style grilling that’s been described as ‘progressive primal’.
The foundation of the restaurant’s carnivorous menu is the open asado fire pit, over which you’ll oven see a whole butterflied pig or lambs slow roasting over the flames and smouldering embers. Needless to say, this is no ordinary barbecue.
Although the asado is traditionally Argentinian, dishes also pay homage to European influences in Latin American cuisine.
“Along with the open fire pit and parilla grill, we will pay tribute to the important influence Spanish and Italian cultures have had on Argentinian cuisine. Think of it as a modern spin on 500 years of culinary history,” says Head Chef, Ollie Gould.
This is the first time the group has committed to exploring cuisines outside South America, so you can expect dishes unlike any the team has attempted before. Try the cuttlefish with pickled mussels, potato, green sauce and watercress to start, and then move on to the pasture-fed lamb rump spiced with coriander and chipotle – as well as the asado-roasted suckling pig and Suffolk lamb, of course.
The numerous side dishes (such as the carrots with eggplant puree, smoked almonds and brown butter dressing) are made to pair with meat, as is their extensive drinks list. All palates are catered for with classic cocktails and wine from Europe and Latin America, as well as Australia.
The 150-seat space was designed by Ewart Leaf, the same architects behind the luxurious fit-outs of Feast of Merit in Richmond, Neptune in Prahran and Rock Sugar in South Yarra. With raw timber and exposed steel, retro black and white tiling, a marble bar and Tuscan mural feature wall (which was unearthed from the previous tenants during construction), the ambiance is a nod to both Melbourne’s street style and rustic Argentinian grill houses.