As soon as I walked into this place, I was like this is Immediate Awesome.
I was thinking about what a friend of mine said recently, how I don’t tend to provide much comment on the ambience of a place.
But do you know why? It is because Melbourne restaurants lack the attention to detail to take you to a different place.
It is all about minimalism, the odd weird plant, brass hands to hold your bags and paper table cloths - whoop de doo basil.
At San Telmo, the smell of flame on the staggered journey through the different terrains starting with a cool white bar at the entrance, followed by the more formal restaurant, toilets with small black and white photos of people on the way and then another bar at the end feels just like Argentina (while I haven't been to Argentina, I have been to steak houses in Chile and the feeling is quite the same).
Even the patrons all seem to look Argentinean with the 80s brush of low lighting, wine used as a wall piece and cow hide as others, sitting on chesterfield seats eating at some tables made of wood and others of marble. This place really does transform.
San Telmo is a place for friends. Girlfriends catching up on gossip, groups of couples talking of old times, travellers experimenting with South American food before making a big trip and bunches of blokes who just want to eat a big steak with some great red wine and minimal smalltalk.
And the food. It really was very good.
The beef empandas were brilliant - juicy on the inside and encased in the most perfect pastry.
The pork chorizo looked simple but had a good amount of hotness, particularly when paired with green and red sauces that are on the side to accompany most meals.
The pear and prosciutto salad was excellent and had a flavour of something that seemed familiar but I did not bother to ask what it was; there's attention to detail for you.
Carrots with goats cheese looked better on the menu that in the mouth. My friend said carrots are just carrots after all.
We ordered the slow cooked lamb which we thought would be tender and would just melt in the mouth but it was a bit tough. I would say order one of the steaks instead, they looked very good.
If you eat dessert, you have to try the flan de dolce de leche with salted caramel.
Overall, my friend summed up this place well. It is not too cool for school, it does not blow me away but I will keep coming back. She too was also starting to look like an Argentinean from the 80s by the end of the night.
Total cost $160 for two including 2 glasses of great wine each.