Sunday, 27 April 2014

Papi Chulo

Prawn and scallop ceviche-a treat for the eyes and tastebuds.

Mark's birthday celebrations are still continuing and we were lucky to be taken out for a lovely lunch today. Whilst the weather put a bit of a dampner on things the ambiance at Papi Chulo on Manly wharf made a grey day seem bright. The venue was bright and friendly, as were the welcoming staff.

The menu is inspired by South American food and as such everything is served as a share plate, which is my favourite way of eating. You get to try lots of delicious things and talk about how they taste with your loved ones. We started with empanadas which were brought to our table by Head Chef Patrick Friesen which was a lovely unexpected surprise. The crunchy empanadas were stuffed with wild greens and raclette, and had a sweet chilli tomato jam to dip them in. I do love a good chilli jam. They looked and smelt so good that Lara screamed at her Dad until he gave her some, and then she decided that they tasted so nice that she kept asking for more. Are we raising a food critic?


Empanadas filled with wild greens and raclette, dipped in tomato jam.

Our next two dishes to arrive were prawn and scallop cevich, and BBQ baby octopus. The whole party enjoyed the octopus, but it took a little convincing to get Grandma to try the prawn and scallop ceviche. I found this dish to be so pleasing to the eye with its beautiful colours and layers, and was intrigued by how they got the crunchy texture in the quinoa, so I will be attempting that in the kitchen soon. I'm glad I tried cevich prawns, but they were no where near as enjoyable as the scallops. I've also been inspired by the use of fruit (persimmon) in a starter. I think I might have to start playing with persimmons too. I love it when a meal out inspires you to think and try new things.

Prawn and scallop ceviche, persimmon, habanero, quinoa.

Naturally our main courses had to come from the BBQ menu, and since we are a family of meat lovers we got the Papi Chulo BBQ platter which was served with mixed pickles (which I almost got all to myself since Mark and I are the only ones that like pickles. Score!) and sweet breadrolls; and smoked pork ribs with Papi's BBQ sauce. My favourite was probably the wagyu brisket which I almost dropped in my lap when picking it up off the share plate as it was so tender it was falling apart.

It would have been a crime not to order coleslaw and curly fries for our sides, and the fact that Lara got so many curly fries was evidence of how much we all loved them and wanted to share the love with our special little person who is ever so spoilt....oh, and I doubt she would have let us get away with not giving her any.

Lara thoroughly enjoying the sliced pork and curly fries.
Seven month old food critic.

Since I'm coming to the sad acceptance that my body doesn't respond kindly to sugar or grains I decided to only have one mouthful of Mark's dessert. He chose the special which consisted of lemon curd, crispy meringues, kiwi fruit and berries. One mouthful was all I needed as it was deliciously sweet with just enough flavour combinations to create a little dance in my mouth. Yes, it tasted as good as it looks.

Todays dessert special.
I would recommend Papi Chulo to anyone looking for a restaurant in Manly, or the Northern Beaches for that matter. It is a little on the pricey side, but for flavours so unique, paired with the view I was impressed.

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