Pastuso, Melbourne

Walking down Flinders Lane, I’ve often passed ACDC Lane and noticed a restaurant at the very end – Pastuso, a “modern Peruvian grill, cevicheria and pisco bar”. My only previous experience with Peruvian cuisine has been the Japanese-Peruvian fusion of Nobu, which I loved, so I did have quite high expectations of Pastuso.

Ceviche Nikei de Camarones — Crystal Bay prawns, radish, ginger, turnip puree, ponzu & white miso

Ceviche Nikei de Camarones — Crystal Bay prawns, radish, ginger, turnip puree, ponzu & white miso

From the Ceviche Bar, I really enjoyed the torched Crystal Bay prawns dish with its Japanese twist, however the thick turnip puree was not particularly memorable. It was so beautifully presented and I loved the freshness and colours bouncing off the plate.

Tartare Andino — 30 day dry aged alpaca loin tartare, black garlic and Peruvian caper berries

Tartare Andino — 30 day dry aged alpaca loin tartare, black garlic and Peruvian caper berries

The alpaca loin tartare (sounds very exotic, doesn’t it?!) was delicious; I’d never tried alpaca before and while it was fairly gamey, it wasn’t overly strong and I actually quite liked the taste. However, I would have liked more caper berries or a bit more flavour in the sauce to provide some acidity or sharpness to cut through the richness of the tartare.

Pierna de Cordero — slow cooked lamb leg with seco sauce and Peruvian rice

Pierna de Cordero — slow cooked lamb leg with seco sauce and Peruvian rice

For our main, we shared the slow cooked lamb leg, which was so tender that I was able to cut through the meat with my fork, which was handy because I’d dropped my knife! Unlike my fiancé, I love fat on my meat, and the fat that remained on this lamb leg really enhanced the taste of the meat, without it being overly cloying or chewy. I’m not entirely sure what seco sauce is, but I couldn’t really distinguish any strong flavours in the bright green sauce that covered the lamb.

TL;DR:

  • Pastuso’s strength is definitely its meat – you could really taste the actual flavour of the meat and every dish was perfectly cooked and presented. However, I found most of the accompaniments and sauces to be quite bland.
  • Service was quite slow, and not timed especially well. We did have a large group and, while the entrees came out fairly quickly, there was a long wait for our mains, which was surprising as most of the group had ordered from the express menu.

Pastuso
19 ACDC Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03) 9662 4556
W: Pastuso

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