Owner Alby Tomassi (Feast of Merit and YGAP) and creative director Paul Wilson have teamed up to create a Latin feasting experience, highlighting fresh and creative ingredients that shine in playful dishes and cocktails inspired by Peruvian, Mexican and Cuban cuisines.
Clever partitions create distinctly different areas with their own unique feel within the venue. The Paladar Dining Room is the main restaurant while the Carolina Back Bar is a place to kick back relax and enjoy delicious street food washed down with complementing cocktails.
Guacamole - From left: Green Goddess (Spring Verduras / Tomatillo Verde), Super Soulful (Cancha / Pepitas / Goji Berries); Chicharrones (Bacon / Pomegranate Mojo)
Our dinner commenced on a high with a trio of decadent guacamole - Each unique and full of flavour. The Chicharrones guacamole was incredibly appealing. Boasting large chunks of pork crackling this guacamole wantonly disregards the current trend towards healthy eating and, as a result, is abundantly flavoursome – the slightly sweet flavour of the Pomegranate Mojo is enhanced by the delicious Bacon and liberal helpings of pork fat. Not to be outshone is the Green Goddess guacamole which is deliciously healthy and possesses an expertly balanced level of spice and flavours. Coupled with perfectly crunchy tortilla chips, the guacamole make for the perfect bar snack or appetiser.
The Smoked kingfish ceviche was another highlight. The thick slices of very fresh kingfish were served with horseradish, finger lime and pecan. The dish was notable for the quality of the kingfish and the interplay between the tartness of the lime and the richness of the horseradish cream. It was a simple but well executed dish.
Anticuchos grilled Peruvian skewer
The Anticuchos grilled Peruvian skewer was wonderfully flavoursome and displayed a delectable outer charring courtesy of having benefited from the perfect time on the grill. As the inherent richness of the sausage makes this dish relatively heavy, sharing this dish with a dining companion would not be unwise.
The Lechon Asado was addictively good. A pork dish, made from a whole suckling pig and then roasted for hours, this dish is comfort food at its best. It’s got it all - crackling, tender meat and amazing flavour.
Salted caramel & sweet corn sundae
We concluded our visit with the Popcorn and salted caramel sundae - absolutely stunning. Each layer had a wonderful flavour intensity that worked beautifully together. We savoured every spoonful.
Lady Carolina showcases Latin authenticity with its outdoor bar serving creative street foods and the indoor cevicheria which will take you on a journey to explore the depth of Latin cuisine, while highlighting cultural fusions of Peru through Chifa and Nikkei blends.
Cuisine: Latin American
Upcoming events Lady Carolina is set to host two major events this November, as well as feature at Melbourne’s Night Noodle Markets as a part of Good Food Month. Lady Carolina will host renowned chef Diego Muñoz, head chef of La Barra, Casa Moreya and Astrid y Gaston, recently voted 14th in The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2015. Munoz spearheads the recent surge in Peruvian cuisine, famous for its cosmopolitan flavours and ingredients, the cuisine is the living legacy of a rich history. La Barra with Diego Munoz – Sunday 22nd November Time: 7pm – 10pm Cost: $120 for a seated shared dinner paired with cocktails and wine Venue: Lady Carolina Cevicheria, pisco bar and the paladar Join Diego Muñoz as he creates muy rico dishes from his restaurant La Barra, renowned for its modern Peruvian fare. Expect to find refreshed Chifa and Nikkei dishes showcasing native Australian produce, local super foods and Amazonian like tropical fruits and vegetables from the hinterlands. The shared dinner hosted by Lady Carolina includes all dishes and accompanying beverages. Crop Up! Peruvian Talk – Sunday 15th November Time: 6pm–8pm Cost: $17.00 adults/children free Venue: Immigration Museum Bookings: museumvictoria.com.au/immigrationmuseum/ Diego Muñoz will join Pastuso's head chef Alejandro Saravia in a panel discussion as part of Good Food Month about the significance of seeds, grains and berries in various cultures. Diego talks about his fusion of Peruvian and Asian flavours that he will be showcasing at the Lady Carolina pop up stall at the Night Noodle Markets. Night Noodle Market - November 12–29 Venue: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne www.melbourne.goodfoodmonth.com/noodlemarkets Paul and Diego will go head to head in a battle between Chifa vs Nikkei. Be a part of the audience to taste which of these Peruvian-Asian cuisines will win!Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Lady Carolina.