Asado fires up, bringing Argentinian barbecue to Southbank, Melbourne

Tomahawk steak at Buenos Aires-inspired Asado.
Tomahawk steak at Buenos Aires-inspired Asado. Photo: Jake Roden

 The team behind San Telmo, Pastuso and Palermo have another iron in the fire. Asado, which is expected to open this week, will bring contemporary Argentinian barbecue dining to Southbank.

Using an open firepit (asado) and custom-made three-metre charcoal parrilla, the kitchen, headed by former young chef of the year Ollie Gould, will cook dishes such as 500g O'Connor's dry-aged striploin and Western Plains suckling pig, and for the vegos, char-grilled carrots with pumpkin seeds, goat's curd and black cabbage cream.

The wine list will go hard at Argentinian labels, including exclusive imports from Humberto Canale and Ruca Malen.

Whole beast cooked on the firepit at Southbank's Asado.
Whole beast cooked on the firepit at Southbank's Asado. Photo: Jake Roden

Long-time collaborators Ewert Leaf have turned a former office space into a 250-seat restaurant, just off the Southbank promenade.

It features floor-to-ceiling windows, a horseshoe-shaped bar, curvy tobacco-coloured leather seating and dark green carpet. They've stripped Argentinian antique shops of vintage soda syphons, which will form a chandelier lighting the main dining room.

One area has been roped off for private dining, using thick strands of cordage hanging from the ceiling to create separate spaces. A mural of gauchos on horseback riding Argentina's Pampas covers one wall.

Another area, with a mix of high and low seating, will be used as a casual drinks and snacks zone serving jamon boards and pintxos-style small bites with sangria, beer and cocktails. Outside tables facing a paved square are intended to recall Buenos Aires' cobblestone streets.

Stage two of the project, a sandwicheria with a separate entrance, will offer casual bites, including Argentina's favourite hotdog, the choripan. It is tipped to open in a few weeks.

Asado will be open daily noon-late. The sandwicheria will open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm and Sat 11am-4pm.

6 Riverside Quay, Southbank, 03 9088 8600, asado.melbourne