Cuisine: Latin American – Argentinian
Location: UK, London – Bayswater
Since I was heading to London and didn’t know exactly what time I might arrive, I had researched a few restaurants in the area close to my hotel. After my cruise down the river Thames, a walk around Greenwich Park where time begins, and the long ride back to my hotel via light rail and tube, I had some spare time. I rang and asked if it were possible to make a dinner booking at Casa Malevo, an Argentinian restaurant that caught my eye. I’m all about trying new cuisines and I didn’t think being in London would be the place I’d be trying something from Latin America. But hey, so what.
With a booking made that gave me enough time to have a quick shower, catch the tube again, and make my way to the restaurant. Of course, like in the prior cities I’ve visited, I got lost and headed off in the wrong direction before getting back on track. I entered the restaurant which looked like someone’s house (it is a house) and apologised for being a bit late. It was reasonably full but I was taken to a table situated in the small courtyard. It was outside but enclosed. Kind of like a beer garden. Boy was this outside area small. So spoilt in Australia with our large open spaces. Anyway, it was pretty cosy and the venue had a real feel to it. The waitstaff were very friendly and courteous. Great to see excellent service.
To start off with, I was presented with bread and butter. More bread! And even butter provided, which is more richer but not creamy like the French version. Love it over here (Europe). Continues the trend of receiving complimentary bread as a pre-starter to your meal. And it was lovely. I was also given a menu and I looked through in earnest. After asking the waiter for a bit of guidance, I made my selections. I decided to order two entrees which proved costly as I didn’t have any room for dessert. Then again, from the little I know of some Latin American cuisines, it is centred on meat.
Entree #1: Empanada with beef, potato & onion filling
The tender beef is hand cut into small pieces but the flavour is surprising.
It’s not meaty but dominated by acidity which helps to dull down the meatiness & allow the other ingredients to shine through like the tomato.
It’s not acidic like vinegar mind you.
The pastry is very soft but different to what I expected.
A lovely start to the meal.
Entree #2: Sweetbreads
This isn’t bread which is sweet but beef throat & glands which are charred and paired with this delicious onion tomato lemon herb mixture.
Simple ingredients but they did something special as it was far from ordinary.
The tender pieces of meat were tasty & even better with a squeeze of lemon.
The meat is a little similar to the veal throat I had before heading to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Some pieces are like paste but rich while others are a tender fatty texture but taste like beef.
I loved it.
Mains: Sirloin with chimmi churri & another onion, tomato, oil, and vinegar sauce
I love these sauces which utilise acidity in a way I have not seen before.
Very unique but effective.
The steak was cooked perfectly, tender, juicy, & yum with the sauces. I like the herbed chimmi churri the best.
So far, the use of acidity in the flavour of the meals is distinctive and unique to the Argentinian cuisine. I haven’t seen this before.
Side: Potato & Artichoke Gratin
Served in a dish, excellent flavour combination of potato & artichoke.
The gratin is moist but not creamy like I was expecting.
Tasty but over salted unfortunately. This was a lovely accompaniment to my mains.
Casa Malevo Food Review Summary
Verdict: For two entrees, a chunk of steak and a side, the meal came to £45 including tips. I really enjoyed my dining experience at Casa Malevo. The interior has a lovely warm cosy feel and the friendly efficient service was much appreciated. I really loved the sweetbreads with the acidic sauce, and a dash of lemon, just improved the taste tenfold. Once again, acidity played a key part in the Argentinian cuisine with two lovely sauces combing superbly with my steak. The chimmi churri was the best of the lot and the potato and artichoke gratin paired well, though was oversalted. I was really full and disappointed I couldn’t squeeze in dessert. I really enjoyed the Argentinian cuisine tonight. A quality experience.
Price: Moderately Expensive (~$75 AUD, $1 AUD = £0.6 Pound)
Casa Malevo Restaurant Details
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