As a foodie, you would think I would be more on the ball when it comes to checking out new and trending places. As in, be there as soon as I hear about it. Well, suffice to say, I am not that quick most times but sometimes when the timing is right I can be so on the money! But only sometimes! :)
Papi Chulo opened just before the year 2013 ended. It has been trending since then. It is another of the Merivale group's list of growing restaurant and bars but this time it opened not in the CBD but in Manly. The first one to do so on that side of town!
We decided to go for lunch as we could do lunch time bookings. Dinner bookings after 6.00 pm are not accepted unless it is for 8 people or more but pre 6 pm is fine. Knowing that we were planning to eat as much as we could, I skipped breakfast that morning just so I had some extra space in my tummy! Hehe!!
I liked the decor of the restaurant. There was a Cuban feel, a South American buzz. I think the music helped with the vibe. Very laid back!
As I walked around to take photos, one of the chefs, Patrick Friesen, posed a slightly goofy shot for me. Hehe!
We got a nice little window nook table for lunch and after poring over the menu, here is what we had.
Grilled corn on the cob, smoked cheese and lime. The girls enjoyed it and I had a bite to sample the taste. There was a light cheese flavour in the corn but not enough to overwhelm the sweetness of the corn.
Prawn and scallop ceviche with mango, chilli and coconut dressing. I fell in love with this dish. The scallops and prawns were very fresh and the dressing was delightfully light, tangy, creamy and slightly sweet. A beautiful medley of flavours! The crunchy texture came from the finely julienned taro strips which I think were lightly grilled. Yum! I could have done with more of this dish!
Empanadas (3 per serve) filled with wild greens and raclette, served with tomato jam. We decided to choose this dish as Papi Chulo is a South American themed restaurant and empanadas is one of the dishes representing the region. The tomato jam had a lovely smoky flavour which lifted up the empanadas.
Wood fire grilled jumbo king prawns, sumac salt and shellfish oil. An impressive looking dish of perfectly cooked prawns. The prawns had a natural sweetness that came through as a result of the sumac salt. This was my favourite dish of the meal.
Papi Chulo BBQ platter - rack of lamb ribs, Wagyu brisket, chopped pork, and pork belly. Served with pickles and soft bread. Everything on this platter was delicious. The meat was smoked between 6 to 8 hours and as a result was so tender and full of flavour. I especially liked the pork belly which was smoked with black pepper and I didn't need to have any of the BBQ sauce with it as its smoky flavours came through perfectly.
We even had special Papi Chulo bibs adorned before our meal began!
The 2 girls shared a Papi Chulo burger of grain fed beef, bacon, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles with a soft bun. The verdict was 'an upmarket version of what a Big Mac should taste like'. I had a small bite and can honestly say it was delicious!
We had sides of Curly fries and Vietnamese coleslaw. The coleslaw turned out to be pickles. I was impressed by how crunchy the vegetables were. Imagine pickling green tomatoes which were super crunchy! And the curly fries were a hit!
We saved some space for dessert and shared 2 desserts amongst us.
Tres leches cake, fresh peaches and berries. The cake was light and had a delicious berry sauce. It worked well with all the fresh fruit. Simple but effective.
Warm chocolate chip cookie, vanilla malt ice cream, butterscotch sauce and macadamia brittle. This was a big hit with the girls. It was rich, caramelly, and lusciously decadent!
After googling what Papi Chulo means in English, I can safely say the term refers to a 'cool guy/dude'. And this Papi Chulo is definitely cool!
And they even have their own hashtag!
22-23 East Esplanade
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- Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.