Lady Carolina in Lygon St, East Brunswick, opened to much fanfare last September, with Latin-food loving chef Paul Wilson at the helm. The food was bloody awesome, and the décor was gorgeous, and included an Astroturf backyard complete with a bright, colourful bar and beach seats backing onto a garden full of banana palms.
Less than 12 months later it’s changed hands, but there’s no cause for alarm.
Chef and co-owner Hugo Diaz has pared back the menu, and he and his South American team are cooking what they know and love. The front of house team is made up of those most precious hospo types : the ones who actually want to be there, love what they do, and make everyone who walks through the door feel welcome.
I visited Lady Carolina last Friday night as a guest, and we loved every single second of the experience, from the Pisco Sour to start, to the pumpkin fritters for dessert, and every spicy, delicious thing in between. We opted for the Latin Feast menu, which mean an avalanche of awesome came at us, and our vegetarian friends were happily catered for as well.
The place was packed by 7pm with young people, old people , couples , families, all locals who have embraced the changing of the guard with fervor, enjoying the festive atmosphere, and Latin music which creates an atmosphere of being on holiday in Cuba instead of in freezing Melbourne in the dead of Winter.
Add this to your list, Northside peeps. Definitely will be back ASAP for more of that goodness. Thanks for having us and sending us into a food coma!
Chargrilled corn from the Asado, with coriander mayo, dried chilli macha oil, and queso fresco cheese
Pork short ribs, Argentinian skirt steak with chimmichurri, Frijoles, Potato salad, chargrilled cauliflower, quinoa salad
Pumkpin fritters heated in dark brown sugar, cinnamon and clove syrup
Dessert churros with caramel cream and Mexican chocolate sauce
Cindy’s Grandma’s flan – cream cheese and pecan crème caramel