25 Nov El Atino & Co, Richmond
Get a taste of contemporary Latin American at El Atino & Co. in the centre of Richmond, where authentic and traditional ingredients and techniques are re-interpreted. As well as dishing up Latin American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, El Atino & Co. has a food store which sells ingredients, food and drink imported from all over Latin America – Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile. Included amongst them are their own products, which are free of preservatives and artificial flavouring.
Peruvian Papa Rellena feels like a heart-warming comfort dish. The smooth mashed-like potato is stuffed with minced beef and comes with a salsa criolla of coriander, chilli and onions. The potato is crispy on the outside, the beef is tasty and the mayo tangy. The chilli is quite hot, so if you’re not a chilli head it might be wise to pick out some of it. Alternatively, cool off with the biting zucchini ceviche and its sweet cherry tomatoes. There is habanero in it, but not enough to get noses running.
In a fun twist, wrap your hands around the Molcajete, a Mexican mortar and pestle, and grind your own salsa to go with sous vide steak strips. The salsa is fresh, tropical and fruity, and the steak is tender and pink. Be careful with that Molcajete. Being made of volcanic rock, it’s pretty heavy.
Our highlight of the savouries is the Havana Prawns, which have been cooked in chef Martin’s own concoction of eight different spices, dark beer and coconut sauce. The Tiger prawns are topped with diced pineapple, which adds some refreshing to the rich and spicy sauce. We gladly soak up every drop of that sauce with the strips of toast provided.
The menu is concluded with a dessert that is as decadent as it sounds on paper. The Chocolate Sweet Sin is a gluten free homemade brownie, cut in half then reassembled to sandwich a layer of golden dulce de leche. One the side is a scoop of house-made dulce de leche ice cream and slices of toasted coconut. Although the ice cream is also flavoured with this caramelised confectionary, it’s light enough to breakup the richness of the fudge-like brownie. Together with the crunch of the toasted coconut, it was a delicious end to a wonderful dinner.
El Atino & Co. now do degustation nights on the first Tuesday of every month, as well as open their cevicheria on Saturday and Sunday mornings during summer.
Disclaimer: I was invited to El Atino & Co as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
EI Atino & Co
366 Bridge Rd
Richmond, VIC, 3121
(03) 8529 4222