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Mas Tinto

Restaurants, South American Stanmore
4 out of 5 stars
Colombian food
Photograph: Helen Yee

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Don’t know your lulo from your patacones? Set yourself straight at this Colombian café

Forget the hangover fry-up – the Colombian picada will cure all your ills. Picada, which is Spanish for chopped, is just the pick-me-up you need for a late breakfast. Or lunch. At Mas Tinto, the picada for two ($35) is a hot plate piled with fall-off-the-bone pork ribs, Colombian and Spanish chorizo, black pudding, grilled chicken, hunks of chilli cheese kransky and arepa cornmeal flatbread. But wait. There’s more. On the side is another pan filled with cassava chips, tiny yellow fried potatoes, sweet plantain banana chips and patacones (twice-fried green plantain bananas). It’s the party platter of your dreams.

There’s the standard menu of Aussie café staples but the Colombian specials are much more fun, with everything from tamal (cornmeal dough steamed in banana leaf with chicken and pork), to mazorcada, a mountain of fries loaded with chicken, chorizo, mushrooms, sweetcorn and lashings of carbonara sauce.The ajiaco is a highlight, a Colombian chicken and potato soup that’s boosted from good to amazing with add-your-own fixings of ripe avocado, salty capers and a drizzle of cream. Get the deep-fried cheese empanadas ($3.50) for stretchy molten cheese.

It’s unsurprising this cosy cafe is packed at lunchtime with a happy mix of homesick South Americans and neighbourhood locals who can’t believe their luck. The vibe is chill, especially in the courtyard out the back.

The coffee, made with Pablo & Rusty’s beans, is particularly good but that doesn’t mean you should skip the Colombian hot chocolate with cheese. That salty hit of queso fresco is tastier than you’d expect. They do juices and smoothies too, with your choice of feijoa, soursop, guava, lulo – a native fruit that tastes like lemony pineapple.

Finish with sugar-crusted churros donuts fresh from the fryer and dipped into your choice of dulce de leche or Nutella. Still want more? Hit the freezer on your way out for take-home packs of empanadas, arepas and pandebono cheese breads.


Address: 43/53 Bridge Rd
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6am-4pm; Sat-Sun 8am-4pm
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