“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 will open at 296 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, in winter.*
This article was updated on June 9, 2017.