Get a taste of South America at Charango Barbacoa in Bree St

by Karisa

Charango Barbacoa, located at 114 Bree St, used to be the home of Peruvian-inspired restaurant, simply named Charango.  Now under new ownership (as part of the Harbour House group – the guys who brought us Tiger’s Milk & La Parada), they’ve relaunched with a fresh new look accompanied by a new menu which has transformed the space into a South American grill house.

If you love a good steak, you’re definitely going to feel right at home here…

A big plus for the summer season is that they have lots of outdoor seating…

The new interior is much lighter than before with a red, white & brown colour palette.  An Argentinian-style bullhead and other smaller wall decor items & picture frames bring that little bit of a South American touch.  They also have a slick looking bar area and window seating from where you can do some great people watching.

Let me show you around:

The menu focuses on beautiful cuts of meat paired with tempting wet rubs, butters, sauces & sides, but they do have a solid list of starter, taco & salad options as well.  Have a look at their menu over here.

But because they’re quite selective about their meat cuts, the steak options do change based on the best meats they can source, and therefore they’re written up on a chalkboard daily:

Picanha (which you’ll spot in the middle there) is a popular Brasilian cut also known as sirloin cap in the US…

While we were perusing the menu & considering our options, we ordered this beautiful bottle of Flagstone Fiona Pinot Noir – highly recommended as a great red, but still served chilled & not too heavy for summer option:

For starters we tried their ceviche (R85)  – they’ve been playing around with new ceviche options & this one featured some spicy mango which was delicious.   We also tried the flame grilled prawns which are served on top of a chunky avo, red kidney beans, chilli & basil salsa (R135) – a little pricey, but also a great dish.  Then we couldn’t resist also trying one of their taco options.  We went for the pulled pork taco (R70) with slaw, burnt pineapple salsa & a spicy tomato aioli.

This is what it all looked like:

The ceviche – will definitely order this again…

The pulled pork taco… if you need more spice, just ask them for some Tabasco on the side… but I found it lovely as is.

Flame grilled really is the only way to eat prawns… love the smokiness…

For mains I went for the 200g fillet while my friend Kim went for the 200g ribeye (her favourite cut of meat).  Adding a butter or wet rub is a definite must.  I added the truffle butter (R35) to my fillet, while Kim added a bone marrow butter (R18) to her ribeye.  We also shared a brandy cream sauce (R25).

For sides we had the small tomato salad (R55), the sweet potato fries (R35), some mash potatoes (R25), and some chargrilled corn (R42).  All of which these were very tasty.

I chose to have my fillet medium which was just the way I like it – seared on the outside with a firm, pink centre. This was a beautiful cut of meat & I really enjoyed it a lot…

The corn is served with a chipotle butter & the sweet potato fries is served with a rustic garlic aioli. All very good…

Kim opted to for medium rare for her ribeye & she was very happy with her choice… in fact, the was smiling from ear-to-ear with every bite…

For dessert, I can highly recommend the Dulce (R60) to share.  After all the heaviness of the steak & all those delicious sides, you’re going to want something that’s nice & light and this is it:

Dulce de leche ice cream, crushed candied almonds, pisco infused dulce de leche sauce… #yum

This really was a steak dinner with a big dollop of panache.  It’s nice to know that the next time I’m craving some red meat, I now have a sexy new option in bustling Bree St.

Other notable mentions:  The service was very good.  Everyone is very warm & welcoming and our waiter was really on the ball.  The setting is also elegant without being too fussy or stiff.  Perfect for a relaxed evening out.

I’m going to give Charango Barbacoa a solid score of  on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale & recommend that you check them out.

They are open 6 days a week for lunch & dinner – Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 until 2am, with the kitchen closing at 10pm.  On first Thursdays they also have a DJ from 6pm, so keep that in mind next time you’re looking for a spot to chill.

For reservations you can contact them on:

  • Tel:  021 422 0757
  • Email:


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