Lady Carolina, Melbourne

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Read our review of Lady Carolina here

There will be surprises in store when Lady Carolina, a Paul Wilson-directed ode to the melting pot of Peruvian cuisine, opens on Lygon Street, East Brunswick, in early July. Wilson has already given Melbourne his take on Mexican at the Newmarket Hotel and Acland Street Cantina, but this new venture, consulting to Alby Tomassi (Feast of Merit), with a potential ownership stake in the offing, will, he says, articulate the breadth and depth of Peruvian cooking in a number of interesting ways.

"The whole world is represented in the markets of Peru," says the one-time Brit-packer, who became enthralled with Peruvian cooking after a recent visit. "You've got your Mexican, which I believe is the original fusion cuisine of the world, thanks to the Spanish conquistadors and the Incas, and then in Peru you've got the Japanese influence, the Chinese influence with chifa cuisine, which is a true fusion native to the country, you've got the Incan, the Spanish, the Italian…"

Lady Carolina will include a cevicheria overlooking the restaurant, where diners can snack on the cured fish while drinking pisco. Beyond the 90-seat restaurant proper, there will also be a more informal covered beer garden replete with taco truck installation and a Cuban-inspired rum bar.

The venue will also have access to Australia's first crop of purple corn, which is being trialled by the University of Queensland for its abundant antioxidants. "It's the most up-and-coming superfood in the world. Kale is so last year," says Wilson, who consulted with the university. "While it's too fibrous to eat, it's brilliant in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks."

Other Queensland-grown tropical crops, such as jackfruit and custard apple, will feature as the base for cocktails, as well as aji amarillo, the Peruvian chilli that has a jalapeño hotness but a perfumed bouquet "like rosewater - a really unusual, fruity flavour". A custom-built pit smoker will be the focus of the meat cookery, with large cuts designed for sharing. Cameron Denning, latterly in charge of the pans at Acland Street Cantina, will be co-head chef with Wilson.

"I'm pretty excited Latin food is back on the menu," says Wilson. "It's such an important food culture globally; it's great to see Australians embracing it."

Lady Carolina, 175-177 Lygon St, East Brunswick, Vic


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
KingFish opens, sampling poke, hip-hop and matcha treats
07.09.2017
Bridge Bon Appetit, the latest addition to Hubert, opens tonight
06.09.2017
Get to know Orana, Australia's Restaurant of the Year 2018
25.08.2017
Melbourne is now home to a Champagne vending machine
11.08.2017
Is Kisume’s new upstairs menu Melbourne’s most luxurious degustation?
03.08.2017
On the Pass: Fatuma Tikuye, Blue Nile
24.07.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Dear Sainte Eloise to open in Potts Point

Sydney’s new wine bar is going back to basics.

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...