The promise of quality coffee will always get us dressed and out the door, but when that coffee is paired with authentic Argentinian food, we’re more than interested. Imagine our delight to hear that Licor 43 had partnered with Asado Melbourne for an incredible bottomless brunch, savouring the end of summer with a selection of cool Licor 43 cocktails and a five-course meal.
Asado Melbourne is an authentic Argentinian restaurant and belongs to the well-known San Telmo group (San Telmo and Palermo). Located in Southbank, diners can order from a carefully curated menu that centres around an open fire pit and a three-metre bespoke charcoal parrilla grill. Simply put, BBQ is king at Asado Melbourne, and the renowned chefs deliver a succulent spread of protein, tapas and substantial menu items, with premium ingredients scouted from Gippsland and beyond.
We knew all about Asado Melbourne, but the food didn’t immediately make us think about bottomless brunch, so we were very excited to see what this Asado and Licor 43 partnership would add to an already popular brunch market.
Spoiler: it was incredible.
Asado Melbourne bottomless brunch menu
The Asado bottomless brunch is not some hodge-podge menu thrown together around a list of cocktails. The menu is well structured to introduce the smaller bites before bringing out the larger, more decadent dishes. The way each dish is artfully presented had us pausing before we dug in so that we could identify and savour each of the ingredients that created a rich dining experience.
It was clear that this Asado Melbourne bottomless brunch menu was a cut above the rest. Here’s what the menu consists of:
We would have been disappointed to not see an empanada on the menu, so the Empanada de carne was a welcome start to the meal. One of our guests was gluten-free and their substitute to the empanada was an absolutely delicious meat skewer, and in no way felt like a consolation dish. The empanada was filled with beef, mashed potato, Mapuche spice and preserved lemon.
Empanada de carne
The Raciones (rations) portion of the menu had three dishes. First came the Tiradito de trucha which was an Ocean Trout ceviche in coconut tigers milk, caramelised purple Congo potato, chipotle and coriander. There was also the Provoleta, which was Provolone cheese, fresh oregano, chilli and lemon. The gluten-free option for this dish was a delicious artichoke dish with sundried tomatoes, which was divine. The Morcilla dish was unlike anything we have seen before – a spiced black sausage, with oil and salt drizzled over the top.
Tiradito de trucha (Ocean Trout ceviche)
Artichoke and sundried tomatoes (gluten-free option)
Parrilla translates to ‘grill’, and was a very substantial course. The Pollo dish was a free-range chicken, salsa brava, white wine and lemon. The chicken was so tender, and the coating that it came drowned in… we could not get enough of it. The chicken was also served with the Escalivada which was a grilled squash and zucchini dish, accompanied by burnt eggplant, leek, capsicum puree, fried sage and parsley oil. As soon as we ate this we were mentally writing a shopping list so that we could attempt this Asado Melbourne dish at home, as it was such a flavoursome way to eat a plate of vegetables. These rich ingredients were balanced with the Luchuga salad, which was a fresh mixed leaf salad, pickled red onion, chives, radish and lime vinaigrette.
Pollo with Escalivada and Luchuga
Escalivada (grilled zucchini, squash and burnt eggplant)
Asado Postres (famously known as the Asado cookies)
We were fully prepared to accept that nothing could top the dishes we had just had, but then they came out with the Postres. Forget everything you know about cookies and biscuits because the Argentinians know better. The Postres is an Argentine cookie filled with dulce de leche (caramel and milk). It looks and tasted like the best shortbread ever, perfectly balanced with a very rich caramel flavour. These Asado Melbourne cookies have something of a cult following, and the craze is very justified. The gluten-free option for the cookies was a sorbet on peanut butter brittle.
Postres (Argentine cookie)
Sorbet and peanut brittle (gluten-free option)
Licor 43 cocktails
If you thought that espresso martinis were the only way to take coffee from day to night in a cocktail, Licor 43 are challenging that perception. We sampled three Licor 43 cocktails, two of which were coffee-based and one was a sangria, leaning into the Spanish roots of this fabulous alcohol. You can find all the Licor 43 cocktails on their website or follow them on social for some Spanish cocktail inspiration. We cannot wait to mix up the Licor 43 horchata in winter, but here is what we enjoyed at the Asado bottomless brunch.
The Espresso 43
We kicked off the afternoon with a fresh twist on the classic espresso martini, with this cocktail only containing espresso, Lico 43 and poured over ice. There was a slight sweetness to this one with the familiar coffee notes, and even as the ice started to melt, it was still so delicious and refreshing.
The Tiki 43
If a bartender offered me a cocktail with espresso, orange juice and rum… I would probably turn it down. Well, the Tiki 43 was an absolute hit, with the espresso, orange juice, rum and lemon juice coming together to create a more-ish cocktail. Served over ice with a slice of dehydrated orange, it looked as good as it tasted too!
We have had sangria every which way – fresh, bottled, off the tap and even tried it locally in Spain. It’s true that sangria can take many forms, but we loved the Licor 43 spin on this summer favourite. The Licor 43 sangria was pink in colour due to the rose (non-alcoholic), rum, grapefruit juice, orange blossom water, pomegranate juice and lemon. This cocktail was well-timed as the last of the three, with the sweetness of the juice giving us some pep after a big meal. Fresh orange slices mixed into the cocktail give it that signature sangria look.
The Espresso 43 cocktail with Licor 43
The Tiki 43 cocktail with Licor 43
The Sangria cocktail with Licor 43
Walk don’t run to Asado Melbourne and enjoy the fantastic bottomless brunch which pairs Argentinian cuisine with Spanish Licor 43 – a match made in heaven. You can also check out our list of the best bottomless brunches in Melbourne.