Pastuso is flying the Peruvian food flag in Melbourne!
The laneway restaurant got their Spanish name from the children’s character Paddington Bear, who was originally an orphan bear from Lima before he was sent to England. The owners liked the idea of a journey, as they had moved to Australia from South America.
Restaurant manager, Ben Wood says that the concept for Pastuso as a restaurant was imagined during many trips travelling through South America.
The chef and co-owner Alejandro Saravia grew up in Lima, Peru before exploring the world and working in kitchens in Europe before coming to Australia in 2006.
Some of his more notable previous employers include Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck in London, as well as having done stints at Les Ambassadeurs (Paris), as well as prominent Sydney establishments including Salon Blanc and Sails on Lavender Bay.
In 2011 Saravia opened his first Peruvian restaurant called Morena in Sydney, which was the first Peruvian Restaurant to be featured in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.
Saravia is part of what he describes as a ‘gastronomic revolution’ that has recently evolved out of Peru. Pastuso’s food style has been described as rustic with delicate and well balanced flavours.
Wood says that the dishes are created using “memories of food experiences with his [Saravia’s] grandmother growing up in Peru and re-designing them using modern techniques learnt in many different kitchens”.
“At Pastuso we believe in sourcing as much produce locally as we can, but also utilising traditional Peruvian products, which are required to maintain our authenticity,” explains Wood.
“We change our menu seasonally so we can use products when they are at their best.”
Unsurprisingly, the Ceviches and Pisco Sours are the most recognised items on Pastuso’s menu and Wood believes they are essential to a Peruvian dining experience. Personally, his favourite is the Ceviche Peruano – the classic white fish ceviche.
Peruvian is not the most common cuisine in the Australian dining scene, but Wood says they love that they are introducing a new cuisine to Melbourne and their customers are happy to have a unique experience at Pastuso.
So if you like your ceviche or just want to experience some beautiful meat dishes (with some different choices like alpaca!), Pastuso should be on your list.
19 Acdc Ln,
Melbourne VIC 3000