Longstanding South Melbourne pub Lamaro’s has been given a Spanish makeover and is now Lamaro’s Bodega. The new emphasis on produce and pork in particular here is evident as soon as you walk in the door past the red neon pig sign and the charcuterie cabinet.
Inside the pub is all polished dark timber with well spaced tables and two private rooms at the back which are ideal for group dinners. I went to Lamaro’s twice in the one week: once for a media preview which left me suitably impressed to book again for the weekend for a dinner with friends.
A meal at Lamaro’s is perfect for groups as the food, which is in the main sourced from the owner (Colonial Leisure Group’s) own farms, is all served sharing style. This admirable paddock to plate philosophy makes it hard to go past the charcuterie ($24) to start sourced from Greenvale Farm. Another good option is the asparagus teamed with a creamy almond gazpacho ($22).
The kitchen has had a makeover here as well with the installation of a Josper oven and you can really taste the smokiness in the wood grilled rockling ($39) which is served with a scattering of slippery diamond clams. A must order dish here is the suckling pig ($42). A big hunk of meat comes out tender enough to be pulled apart with a spoon and with plenty of crispy crackling. Another great option is the Flinders Island lamb shoulder ($48) this is simple food but using top notch produce.
The sides also shine at Lamaro’s Bodega. Think comfort food with delicious jacket potatoes ($12) and huge bowls of savoy cabbage scattered with bacon and red onion ($12). Extra pig as a side with my main of suckling pig? Yes indeed.
The most photographed dish at Lamaro’s Bodega is already the sweet potato ice-cream sandwich ($10). This is essentially an eclair with a caramel squeezed on top and filled with ice-cream which is thankfully more sweet than potatoey. Just like the reinvention of this gastro pub the reinvention of the eclair is fun and also delicious.
Gourmet-Chick was invited to one media dinner at Lamaro’s Bodega and returned again paying her own way.
Details: Lamaro’s Bodega, 273-279 Cecil St, South Melbourne (Ph 03 9690 3737)