1. Assorted plates of Latin American food and brightly garnished cocktails.
    Photograph: Hugh Davidson
  2. Tables of groups in a restaurant with spherical hanging lamps and greenery.
    Photograph: Hugh Davidson
  3. A  bartender shaking drinks behind a teal hue-tiled bar for two customers.
    Photograph: Hugh Davidson
  4. A woman in a long lilac dress chatting to a friend by a brightly lit bar.
    Photograph: Hugh Davidson
  5. Assorted dishes and drinks laid out on a corner booth table at Pincho Disco.
    Photograph: Hugh Davidson
  6. Assorted plates of Latin American food and brightly garnished cocktails.
    Photograph: Hugh Davidson
  7. Assorted plates of Latin American food and brightly garnished cocktails.
    Photograph: Hugh Davison
  8. A shell-decorated scallop dish alongside a salt-rimmed cocktail.
    Photograph: Hugh Davidson
  • Restaurants | Latin American
  • Collingwood
  • Recommended


Pincho Disco

4 out of 5 stars

An exuberant new restaurant is bringing modern Latin American fare, DJs and juicy libations to the pulsing heart of Collingwood


Time Out says

With a portfolio made up mostly of pub-style venues, hospitality collective Kickon Group garnered due attention when they opened pan-Latin restaurant Pincho Disco last year. It’s not just a new concept for them but also for Melbourne, a city with very few Latin restaurants – particularly of this calibre.

We have to credit Pincho for that. It's breaking boundaries, setting examples, doing what big hospo groups once did for “Asian fusion” and pushing all that innovation out into the Australian mainstream. Thankfully, Pincho is on track to age better than most of those groups did, even if the Dia de los Muertos-inspired art and cocktails with names like Chilli Cha Cha may feel a bit on the nose.

The venue is recently-built and sprawling with beach ball-sized white orbs hanging from the ceiling, a split-level dining room and bar, and an open kitchen where you can watch the head chef Diego Cardenasin in action. He's from Colombia but the menu draws from around Latin America, spanning Mexico all the way down to the tip of Argentina. Naturally, we want to experience the vastness of the region so we sample items from across the menu.

To start – one large octopus tentacle, tender and smoky. It's served on a spill of orange oil, plus a dollop of “Mexican mole mayo”. While it lacks the punch of a pure mole negro, it’s a clever trojan horse for what could be considered a confronting condiment for those new to it. The mussel tostada, while very tasty on its own, is generous with the creamy condiments and we start to sense a theme that carries through the meal. 

The wagyu and chorizo skewers are showstoppers of the evening, well-seasoned and perfectly cooked over a live flame. Their delicate garnish of minced onion, cucumber and capsicum take them to even greater heights, but the sauce is perhaps a distraction. With a few less additions across the board, perhaps the dishes could shine much brighter and allow the stellar produce (MB9+ wagyu, anyone?) to take the lead. But still, there's no denying that each bite is utterly moreish.

One surprising standout is the short rib plate. This dish notoriously has low meat-to-bone ratios but this rendition is pre-sliced and generously portioned for the $24 price tag. The slices are glazed in chicha morada (a Peruvian purple corn drink) and bundled into lettuce leaves for a fresh, sharp bite to round out an otherwise rich meal.

Dishes trickle out slowly, turning what was meant to be a quick dinner into a 2-hour occasion. It would be nice if it were an occasion but on a Tuesday evening, feels frivolous. Nevertheless, it's still early days for Pincho and it's possible the staff are still finding their feet. In any case, the detail provided by the kitchen team as they present each plate shows a level of customer engagement and care for their craft that will bode well if nurtured.

It's an intriguing first chapter for this restaurant, and while there may be a few small steps ahead if it's to reach its full potential, the sky could be the limit here. As a fresh face with a unique offering and a solid foundation, it’s well-positioned to rise up to even greater heights.

Craving tapas or paella instead? Check out Melbourne's best Spanish restaurants. For kicking on, here's our list of the 50 best bars in Melbourne.


59 Cambridge Street
Opening hours:
Wed-Thu 4:30pm-late, Fri-Sat 11:30am-late, Sun 11:30am-4pm
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