Latin America meets Asia at the newly-opened Luis Tans in Bondi Beach, bringing a unique culinary twist on exciting dishes.
The 120 seater restaurant is located between Campbell Parade and Gould Street and is co-owned by Raul Gonzales, Shane Moran, Nathan Joliffe and Ryan Ginns. The interior design was inspired by ‘Luis’, a notorious and wealthy Peruvian hustler from the 1960’s who married the daughter of one of Japans biggest crime leaders.
Latin rhythms greet you as you enter this warm and welcoming space. Relax in a banquette and take in the decor. A colourful striped bar, reminiscent of a Latin American poncho, posters of Peru and Japan as well as photographs adorn the walls. There is even a crank telephone at one of the booths.
Head Chef, Alejandro Franco Lancini blends his South American heritage with Asian influences in an eclectic menu. From the moment your water is served from a Japanese style teapot, you know you’re in for a unique experience.
The cocktail list has been created by bar veteran Quynh Nguyen (ex China Diner) and it is in theme with the food menu. You’ll find a range of South American rum, Pisco, Sake and Japanese whisky on show and complimented by the wine selections.
Lima Sour, El Gallo Negro-ni
El Gallo Negro-ni ($18) is a Negroni with a twist, using Pisco, Suze and Regal Rogue Vermouth with grapefruit bitters. This is a light cocktail with bright flavours. The Lima Sour ($18) with Jim Beam rye, Martel VS Cognac and Lemon Juice with Malbec Shrub is a well balanced sour with berry notes on the finish.
Chef Alejandro has created unique dishes with unique combinations of Latin American and Asian ingredients, resulting in flavours that sit in harmony on the palate. But there’s nothing gimmicky about this fusion. It simply works and works well.
Platanitos Fritos ($7) rise out of the terracotta pot like a mountain range. The Plantain chips are crisp and salty with a touch of heat from the chipotle mayo. These go down well while sipping on cocktails.
El pan de abuela
El pan de abuela ($17) is a dish using Chef Alejandro’s grandmother’s recipe. Dip warm, crisp bread into the hollowed out baked sourdough with caramelised leeks, melted Gruyere and smoked chipotle filling. One the filling is finished, enjoy the roll as the filling has soaked into it. Pure heaven. A simple dish yet so moreish.
Ceviche de Pulpo y Cobia
The bright and zesty Ceviche de Pulpo y Cobia ($19) serves up braised octopus and cobia ceviche with palm hearts, radish and jalapenos. The octopus pieces are incredibly tender and topped with salmon caviar that burst in the mouth coating the palate with a briny and creamy flavour. Adding texture and heat are thin batons of radish, thinly sliced palm hearts and a very mild jalapeño.
Mejillones con leche de coco
Served in a terracotta pot, Mejillones con leche de coco ($22) is a vibrant and spicy dish of Wild Port Lincoln Mussels in coconut curry. The mussels are plump and soft with the creamy coconut curry packing some heat along with a beautiful balance of ginger, lemongrass and lime.
Eat the mussel separate or extract it from the shell and use your spoon to have the curry at the same time. A side of sourdough is handy to soak up the up the curry once the mussels have finished.
Cocido de Puerco
The Cocido de Puerco ($19.50) is 8 hour slow-cooked pork tossed in sesame, miso and citrus dressing. The pork is tender, both sweet and savoury at the same time and falls apart. It has a beautiful caramelisation with a touch of star anise spice and pieces of crispy cracklings.
The miso accentuates the dish so make sure you have a spoon to enjoy the sauce.
Costillas de Res
Costillas de Res ($23) comprises two generous Black Angus beef (270 days grass fed) short ribs that are tender and flavoursome with the meat falling off the bone. The ribs have been tomato-braised with chimichurri and are served with black turtle beans. This is a hearty and filling dish. A glass of P15 Malbec is a perfect match to the dish.
The dessert of Torta Chocolate ($16) is a light textured flourless chocolate cake topped with a rich chocolate sauce and candied ginger served with a creamy and refreshing coconut ice cream.
The food at Luis Tan’s is made to be shared and enjoyed with friends. The welcoming casual space and friendly vibe will soon have a smile on your face which will get bigger once you start on the menus. The dishes are very well priced with service that is friendly and prompt. If you have been thinking of a culinary trip to South America via Asia, this is a great place to start.
15/178 Campbell Parade
Bondi Beach, 2026 NSW
This article is posted on Gourmantic.com - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2016.