La Cocina de Don Panchito is one of Brisbane’s most unique restaurants, serving authentic South American fare prepared by Peruvian chef Don Panchito in a suburban backyard, and only open once a month.
Each month, Don Panchito opens his home and kitchen and welcomes all to dine in his backyard bistro, filled with plants, plastic tables, chairs, and Latin music. The small menu usually consists of two entrees, two mains and a dessert. Popular Peruvian dishes to start with include cebiche, fresh fish cured in lemon and lime juice, and anticuchos - beef hearts marinated, skewered and seared over a hot grill.
The monthly menu changes but main meals might include seco de cordero, a Peruvian lamb stew slow-cooked in cilantro sauce, and Don Panchito’s signature pollo a la brasa - spit-roasted chicken served with potatoes, salad and spicy aji sauce.
If it’s on the menu when you visit, a must try is the traditional Incan dish pachamanca, meaning earth oven. A customary way of cooking in the Andes, it involves three meats (lamb, pork and chicken) being placed in a hole in the ground and cooked over hot stones.
Save room for dessert with sweets like crema volteado, a Peruvian crème caramel, or picarones – a sweet potato donut served with chancaca (a syrup made of sugar cane).
Drinks are authentic too, with Peruvian beer Cusqueña, Inca Kola and chica morada (an alcohol-free drink of purple corn juice) served alongside sav blanc and rose wine.
Need to know - Bookings are recommended as tables fill up quickly. Takeaway is available. To find out when the next event is, follow La Cocina de Don Panchito on Facebook.
By Deb Lidster