My old favorite haunting ground when I come to Queenstown – The Empanada Kitchen. The Empanada Kitchen started off as a small stall selling South American empanadas (a South American snack food containing various fillings encased in pastry which are then baked), at the Church Street market every Saturdays which now no longer exists.
I had my first empanada when I was in South American a few years ago. We saw this old lady pushing her cart full of emapandas where she was selling them for 50 peso each. We ordered one to try as we had never seen them before. They were so good we went back a few more times. I think we made her day as we basically purchased a third of the empanadas in her cart. I have not had anything similar to those empanadas until I encountered The Empanada Kitchen.
The Empanada Kitchen recently opened a hole in the wall kiosk on Beach Street next to the public toilets offering up to four different flavours daily due to the limited space they have in their heating cabinet.
Marino Viale who hand makes these daily offsite, is a good friendly guy who is always seeking new flavours to fill his famous empanadas with. However you will still find the traditional South American filling of beef and olives in the mix, even if he does stray towards catering to the local taste buds eg. mince and three cheese which is a take on the classic New Zealand pie – Mince and Cheese.
The Empanada Kitchen also makes and sell a superb chim churri sauced named ‘chimi sauce’ that goes very well with the empanadas at a cost $10 a bottle. Not to worry if you do not want to splurge on a bottle of ‘chimi’ sauce, when you purchase an empanda from the Kiosk there is a self service bottle of ‘chimi’ sauce which you can add onto your empanada.
The empanadas are baked off site before transported to the kiosk several times a day.
Chicken and Chorizo – finally you can see chicken inside. Everytime I order a chicken pie or a pastry with chicken filling, you normally see a lot of gravy and very few chicken meat. These empanadas are clearly made with quality in mind and with the use of quality ingredients. Flavours of this empanada was perfect, and even better with some chimi sauce.
Pork and Prune – good large chunks of pork and had a good balance of gravy and meat. Other empandas or pies generally have too much gravy and no meat or the filling is too dry.
Get in quick to claim that you were part of the original establishing clientele that will make this famous South American snack food a hit!
Empanadas cost $5.50 each.
Location: 60 Beach Street, Queenstown – next to the public toilets