“Every Australian has memories of walking home from school via a charcoal chicken shop,” says Pastuso executive chef Alejandro Saravia. “Chips with chicken salt, roast chicken, gravy. I want to take those elements and add a Latin-American twist.”
He and his team (also behind San Telmo in the city) are opening a third restaurant at the end of May, this time in Fitzroy on Brunswick Street.
CHE, which is Spanish slang for “buddy” or “mate”, will be a Latin-American version of a local Australian charcoal-chicken shop.
Saravia’s charcoal chicken will be marinated for 48 hours in dark malt beer, spices and Peruvian chillies before a stint in a custom-made charcoal spit/smoker. He’ll also make his own chicken salt by grinding dehydrated chicken skins into a powder.
CHE is also an acronym for Chicken, Helados, Empanadas, so aside from chicken there’ll be three empanadas on the menu – one beef, one roast chicken, and a vegetarian option made with pumpkin, pesto and feta. Add in salads, plus a dulce de leche soft serve topped with blueberry and Malbec jam and shaved macadamia nuts, and a selection of beers and Argentinean wine.
“As a kid in Peru I used to walk around eating empanadas from the corner store near where I grew up,” says Saravio. “I like that this concept brings together my childhood memories with those of many Australians.”
CHE is slated to open May 30 at 296 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.