Cochinillo asado (Lechon al Horno), or roast suckling pig, is a dish famous in the province of Segovia, Spain and since leaving that part of the world, not something we've eaten. So as a treat for my hubby's birthday, I booked us in for dinner at True South in Black Rock where you can pre-order a quarter or half (or more I guess) of the Lechon al Horno.
On Beach Road in beautiful Black Rock
True South on Beach Road is a locals favourite and with the water of the sparkling bay directly opposite, it's not hard to see why. We went on a warm, sunny Friday evening and the place was busy with people enjoying a drink or having dinner. Downstairs there is a casual atmosphere, plenty of wait staff and the service is friendly and efficient.
Lechon al Horno
The menu has a distinct Argentinean flavour and there are plenty of craft beers, cider, wines and cocktails to choose from.
The menu which is designed for sharing, is split into 3 main sections. Las Tapas, which are bites to share, range in price from $9 to $15. Las Raciones, bigger tapas that range from $14 to $24 and include various salads, ceviche or even lamb brains. Finally, there are Los Platos, a range of seasonal dishes that are priced from $12 to $85 for the Costilla de Vaca which is a 800g grass fed beef tomahawk on the bone served with salad and sauces. There is a small, but ample, dessert menu which sounded nice, but unfortunately on this occasion didn't get a look in.
Knowing that we had the suckling pig on the way, we restrained ourselves and just tried the Empanada de Morcilla and the Rabas. Morcilla is black pudding and this was one of the best we've tried in Australia. The empanada pastry was crispy and the provolone cheese was a nice touch. The apple and cabbage salad served with it wasn't bad, but was extremely sharp and left a strong, lingering taste in the mouth. Would have preferred 2 of the delicious empanadas! The rabas (calamari), were slightly spicy, tender and served with a dollop of aioli.
Then out it came. On it's own serving table. A quarter of suckling pig. The thin skin was crispy and carefully removed and the meat was juicy and tender. Suckling pig is traditionally roasted with nothing but water and salt and this is how it was prepared here. The taste of the meat needs nothing else, although chimichurri sauce and a salsa were served alongside it.
We chose the Moros & Cristianos, a rice and bean salad with garlic prawns and the Papas y Batatas, a variety of potatoes roasted with onions, garlic and thyme to accompany the suckling pig. Both were tasty, but not fully appreciated when we were busy seeing just how much of the pig we were going to get through.
Moros & Cristianos
To wash down all the delicious food, we tried the True South Pale Ale and the local cider, both went down very well.
All up, a great evening and wonderful food. The suckling pig made for an expensive meal, but perfect for a special occasion. We will return soon to try some of the other dishes. We noted that they do have special lunch menus, so will need to check those out.
True South also offers a variety of spaces for groups, the feature being the upstairs Function Room, which offers stunning views of Port Phillip Bay, has exposed ceilings and a soft industrial style finish. The Backroom and Cellar are also available for private hire. True South caters for Weddings, Celebrations, Corporate functions, Birthdays and more.
True South Beer is brewed at Blackman's Brewery. Blackman's Brewery is located in the, surfing town of Torquay, south of Melbourne at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. Established in 2014, the True South range was one of the first to be brewed by Blackman's.
We can thoroughly recommend True South and can see it becoming one of our regular favourites. Next time, we'll leave a little room to try the dessert.