Fans of Argentinian street food are going to want to hustle their way to Drummoyne immediately: one of Sydney’s most popular food stalls, Empanadas Che, has found a permanent home.
The creation of Maria Cristina Gines (who moved to Australia from Argentina at 21) and her daughter Bianca Izurieta, Empanadas Che has been a regular at festivals, markets, fetes and fairs across NSW for the past three years, selling its signature fried dough parcels filled with a variety of ingredients, ranging from the traditional (beef, onions, roasted capsicum, olives and egg) to the wacky (mac’n’cheese).
Izurieta says it was the hunt for a new commercial kitchen space – essential for fulfilling their growing wholesale business – that led them to the retail spot on busy Victoria Road.
“We’re building success on success and sharing a busy commercial kitchen was no longer a viable option. Our customers now have access to our empanadas in a central location, easily accessible to the CBD and covering the inner west, which we can also service now through Uber Eats,” she says.
Having been taught to make empanadas by her abuela (grandmother) Titi from a young age, Izurieta says empanadas exemplify the flavours of Latin America. “They’re sold on every corner in the Latin world. It’s all about that light and flaky pastry encasing juicy meats, vegetables and spices,” she says. “Eat one and watch your body salsa.”
As well as mac’n’cheese and the traditional beef, the shop sells vegetarian and vegan varieties, plus meatball, cheeseburger (beef patty, cheddar cheese and burger sauce), Mexicana (spicy beef with black beans) and more, all sealed with a purpose-built stainless steel press custom-made for the pair in Buenos Aires, and all cooked to order. One empanada will set you back $6.50, or you can buy two for $12.
For those with a hunger that isn’t satiated by filled, fried pastries (though that seems unimaginable), Empanadas Che is also offering other iconic Argentinian street foods. “We’re doing a couple of staples like choripan (an Argentinian hotdog made with chorizo) and our version of a hamburguesa (hamburger) with chimichurri, cheese and topped with a mini cheese empanada.”
If you’re getting home delivery, you’ll also he able to order croquetas (potato and jamon-filled croquettes served with pico de gallo salsa) and albondigas (meatballs slow-cooked in tomato ragu and served on a crusty roll).
As for how the transition from food stall to bricks-and-mortar store has affected the mother-daughter team, Izurieta grits her teeth slightly. “We are hot-headed Latinas. We’ve been at each other for the past week.”
214 Victoria Road, Drummoyne
0414 511 398
Tue to Fri 8am–3pm
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on March 6, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.