24 May Pablo Honey, St Kilda
Another season, another menu at Pablo Honey Tapas Bar. The new winter menu, still under the direction of Lachlan Cashman, has plenty of new dishes to try.
Cold Smoked Salmon is topped with salty roe, packed right to the edges. This is paired with plum, tomatoes – both fresh and desiccated – and little blobs of whipped manchego. Corn tuille adds some crispy textures to the dish.
Segments of Grilled Rainbow Trout come with green finger lime and roasted tomatillo verde. The finger lime vesicles are refreshing and zingy, and there’s an overall spicy, smokey, chilli flavour that accompanies the good level of charr on the fish.
Slices of Wagyu are artistically plated with charred onion, piñon crust, and small pieces of puffed beef tendon. The eye-catching, red fried spice mix adds loads of flavour to the tender beef. It’s an intriguing and tasty dish.
Hiding underneath thin slices of wagyu cecina are three beautifully grilled Scallops. The salted and dried wagyu preparation is lifted by the finely diced onions and tomatoes in the smoked yellow tomato escabeche, and it also helps the delicate flavours of the scallop to not be overpowered by the cecina.
Some of the more unusual dishes on the new menu include the Wood Roasted Bone Marrow, and Chargrilled Pine Mushrooms. The Marrow is topped with a crumb, and is expectedly rich, but is freshened up by herb and a slight chilli kick from the piquillo peppers. Mushrooms aren’t that unusual in themselves, but what makes this dish stand out is its inclusion of caracoles, Spanish for snails. In a plate that looks a bit like a garden, the large, flat, earthy mushrooms come with a creamy, flavoursome sauce, a bed of salty, parsley migas (bread crumb), caracoles, and sharp manchego cheese. Both dishes are packed full of flavour, and are a good introduction to new foods.
The large dish of Mapuche Pork Scotch comes with tortillas for some DIY construction. The soft, roasted pear and chilli salsa go well with the pork in a good combination of sweet and spicy.
We finish with the Chocolate Chilli dessert of oaxaca sponge and roasted chocolate gel. Firm pieces of dark chocolate are balanced by the airy sponge. Sugared crystalised chilli strands impart a spicy aftertaste at the back of tongue, which also lift the flavours of the rich chocolate elements in the dish.
Pablo Honey still manages to keep its menu exciting and inventive, and the consistently high standard of food marks it as one of the places I recommend for Latin American.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Pablo Honey as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
68 Acland St
St Kilda, VIC, 3182
(03) 9534 3246