Sure, we’ve tried South American cuisine, and we’ve certainly indulged in Aussie delectables, but have we ever once tried the two combined? Well, now we can say we have after our decadent dinner experience at the quaint little Abuelo Cafe in Covent Garden, London.
Being not only a kitchen, but a coffee house too, we were excited to get our hands on some fair dinkum coffee knowing that both Australia and South America deliver among the most exceptional of caffiene offerings. Low and behold, espresso martinis on arrival. Creamy coffee-based cocktails for the lovers of all things caffiene… is it cocher to take two at once?
Inside, we take our seats on gorgeous mahogany wood tables, spiked with a complementary hue of emerald green spread across cushions, plants and mysterious paintings hanging from the walls. It’s a very cosy environment; somewhere pleasant to curl up with a hot cuppa to get down to work on your laptop, perhaps.
While intimate, the space also welcomes group gatherings as we experienced that very evening, seating ourselves at a table set for 12 or so. Bloggers, foodies and other such media sat down to a ferocious feast and abundance of fantastic wine (yet another foodie delight that both SA and AU do ever so well, if we do say so ourselves).
The opening starters were perhaps the most surprisingly tasty in our opinion: delicate toastadas topped with slices of avocado, chilli flakes and DARK CHOCOLATE shavings?! Well, who would have thought avocado would have paired so seamlessly with chocolate? Thinking it through, the creamy texture and subtle flavour of avocado can kind of act like a healthy whipped cream or butter substitute, both of which we already know work well with chocolate. Bizarre, but we highly approve.
A favourite of the evening was an Argentinian style provolone cheese dish (surprise, surprise… cheese). In a little hot pot, the ‘Carne Provoleta’ was melted to gooey perfection, paired with crunchy walnuts, slow cooked organic beef brisket, caramelised onion and served alongside lightly toasted sourdough drizzled with olive oil. We needed to eat this one quick though, because the cheese hardened rather quickly and became a little difficult to split.
The ‘Sloppy Jose’ was another crowd favourite, spreading a classic empanada filling over soft brioche bread, topped with gooey, melted cheddar cheese and sliced quail eggs to garnish. A very hearty and filling dish, this was the perfect savoury to end on before moving onto dessert.
The dessert dish boasted all those classic elements you see in contemporary Australian presentation. The edible flowers, the pomegranate seeds sprinkled all over… we truly felt like we were back home at an Aussie brunch house with 40 degrees outside and the warm sun shining (although it was definitely only 7 degrees outside and lightly spitting rain, thanks London haha). This dish combined brioche, ricotta cheese and sliced mulled wine poached pears with a drizzle of spiced pear jam.
Head on over to abuelocafe.co.uk to find out more about this lovely little foodie hub in London central.