You know dinner’s gonna be meaty when your menu is upholstered in cow. The drinks menu at Asado looks like a skilled veterinarian could still save it. I handle it gingerly, half expecting it to moo.
The general theme is Argentine/Spanish grill house. There are huge pillars, decked out in piebald cowhide, a giant mosaic of a gaucho (Argentine cowboy) on one wall, and behind the open kitchen pass...a bottomless flame pit, glowing and spitting with red hot logs. Any bovines that stray within 200m of Asado should make sure they have excellent life insurance.
The fit-out looks a bit like Palermo in a lot of ways. Except while Palermo went for earth tones, Asado favours pampas-green. There’s dark timber bistro seats, marble-topped tables, and clever stained glass dividing walls (to keep the cavernous space from feeling too, well, cavernous).
Food-wise, you can expect more of your favourites from Palermo and San Telmo. There’s a few Spanish-style pintxos to get you started—personally, we could have eaten about 28 of the beef, green olive and boiled egg empanadas. Word to the wise though: let them cool down. We practically scalded ourselves they smelled so good.
From there, pick out a few ‘Más pequeño’ small plates. The beef tartare is crazy good, pepped up with pickled mushroom and anchovy mayo. Whack on some sides like chargrilled carrots, topped with fluffy goats curd, or fried russet potatoes doused in chimichurri rojo, then brace yourself. The meat is coming.
Asado is doing a flame-blasting parrilla grill, along with an asado fire pit. Group executive chef Ollie Gould has the unofficial title of ‘pitmaster’. The oxtail braised in Madeira and served with cauliflower puree is probably our favourite, but save room for an MS 5+ Black market Ranger’s Valley Angus grain-fed flank steak (AKA the steak of our dreams).
The Parrilla somehow manages to lock in a lot of juiciness, while searing the skin to a crispy golden brown. Gould sprinkles a few fat salt flakes on top, then leaves you to heap on the garlicky chimichurri. We basically licked the plate.
The wines, as you’d expect, as big and bold and Argentine, heavy on the Malbec reds. You can check them out in the floor to ceiling, temperature controlled wine wracks.
Stay tuned for an Asado sandwich shop outside too. They’ll be slinging meaty takeaway sandwiches in about a month’s time.
Image credit: Mel Desa