Review: Veritas

28 August 2018

You can’t imagine how bad of a day I’ve had. Began at 7am with a serious car crash; a half second later I would probably not be here writing this… It’s never fun when it’s a rental vehicle, and it took the cops an hour to arrive. And another two hours for the tow truck. By the time I painfully climbed into my replacement vehicle, it was pretty much the afternoon.

Oh, I had been in Pittsburgh, having driven in from Columbus the day before. A short closing stop after the South American trip, which I thought was gonna be drama free. No such luck… I made my way back to Columbus, curtailing my stops as I was in some discomfort from the hard impact. Plus I had to deal with insurance and all that stuff…oh my head…

What I really needed was a good dinner, and I’m hoping Veritas in downtown Columbus can deliver. I was intrigued by the menu, which is really strong for a state where I’ve not had too many good meals. From Cleveland to Cincinnati, I’ve been constantly disappointed by the food in Ohio, but I’m hoping on such a shitty day we’ll have an exception.

I got to the busy eatery and was seated at a nice table. I didn’t feel like sitting at the bar, although the cocktails were flowing at first already…I certainly needed one. I chose the tasting menu because frankly my head was killing me, and I didn’t want to bother looking… Hopefully this was a good choice.

I enjoyed a nice cocktail as my server also poured a wee bubbly, all for the devilled duck egg…

01-deviled egg

I like the do-it-yourself hot sauce thing, which wasn’t really very hot. But the egg was very tasty, the caviar a nice touch. A good start. As I was in need of booze after this idiotic day, I happily guzzled the bubbly and finished my cocktail before they managed to pour a beautiful Riesling from the Finger Lakes — my old stomping grounds in Upstate New York — for the next dish, tomatoes.

02-tomatoes

I truly liked this dish! The surprise is the cottage cheese, which is one of my guilty pleasures. This worked deceptively well, the balsamic really bringing both the tomatoes and the cottage cheese out. Surprisingly good. I’m starting to feel better, although the pain radiating from my neck is getting worse…

Thank goodness for the booze, right? So far it’s been generous pours, and now we have a Gewürztraminer from Sonoma for the third course, hamachi.

03-hamachi

It’s actually marinated in hibiscus, which explains the colour. The assorted items with this dish, from the coconuts to the jalapeño, really added a nice touch to the already good fish. I’m actually kind of impressed with this kitchen so far. The service has also been excellent, very efficient. I mentioned that since I’m a single diner the kitchen doesn’t need to play timing rules on the dishes, they can just proceed at their own pace — and I’m liking the pace.

Then a lambrusco is poured for the next item, which is more like a snack — the pork belly bun.

04-pork bun

Oh this is delicious, lovely flavour with the pork and the bun was done very well. So many places do the pork well but screw up the bun, or try to get too fancy with too much crap inside. This works perfectly. I’m really happy so far with this dinner, the generous pours on the pairing for the relatively small food items helping to relieve some pain for sure… Then a nice white from Loire is poured and we have the pasta dish…

05-duck casarecce

A delicious casarecce, cooked perfectly, graced with duck confit and lobster mushrooms, as well as corn. Really excellent dish, another pleasant surprise. So far easily the best meal I’ve ever had in Ohio, and we still have a few more items to go. Then a syrah is poured for the last savoury dish, the lamb.

06-lamb

Wow, this meat was really nice, albeit the portion a bit limited. I wish there was a bit more, as the foam was a bit distracting being cold — compare to the jus. The Australian black truffle made me cringe a little after my extended exposure to it the previous trip… But the lamb itself was fantastic. It says something when this excellent lamb was probably the weakest overall dish so far!

One thing I liked is that this dinner has taken just a little more than an hour so far, so it’s moving very well — especially for me — despite the place being busy with many people ordering ala carte. Then we shift into the desserts and a madeira is poured…

07-buttermilk yuzu

An interesting little dessert based on buttermilk and yuzu, with a touch of cherry. Not bad. But tonight my brain, when it’s working post-trauma, is not interested in dessert. I asked for the after-dinner drinks list as the last dessert item did not have a pairing. And I’m glad I got something stronger, as this dinner came to an unfortunate end…

08-lime cucumber

Yeah, one of my biggest dining gripes, edible gold. I got it the hell off my food as much as I could before I consumed this concoction of lime and cucumber. A nice closing palate cleanser, which ironically worked with my peaty scotch…

I had another drink and coffee before I settled up and thanked my server. A really excellent evening that surprised me. Smooth and quick service, generous wine pours for the pairing, and fantastic dishes. The casarecce and pork bun were the top items tonight, but it all worked really well. Very pleasantly surprised.

I so needed this as I headed out, waited for my ride to go back to my hotel. I know I’m not supposed to sleep (or drink) when you have a likely concussion, but I frankly don’t care. I went back and had a few more at the hotel before I zonked out. Home tomorrow, then to deal with all the fallout from this morning…

Aside from all that drama, Veritas is highly recommended!

Veritas
11 West Gay Street
Columbus, Ohio

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Review: Kyu

26 August 2018

I won’t bore anyone with the details of my trip getting back to Miami from Quito, but it was hellish. Tocumen Airport in Panama proved to be as shitty as ever, and Copa Airlines not much better. Throw in a shitty hotel near MIA Airport that gave me food poisoning, the whole thing sucked.

I didn’t recover until the next late afternoon, when I headed to dinner at local hotspot Kyu. Yeah, why am I going to dinner at 4pm? Because I have a flight out at FLL tomorrow at 6am, so I have to wake up around 3am tomorrow…

I usually don’t like places like this, full of weekend drunks and revellers, but I was intrigued by the menu. Sat at the bar and enjoyed a nice cocktail as I ordered some food. The drinks were good and imaginative, so I can recommend this place as a bar already. Then my starter arrived, the octopus.

1-octopus

Surprisingly good, perfect cooking here of well-sourced octopus. The palmitos were a nice addition for a good plate. Then it took ages for my main to arrive, so I had more drinks. When it arrived I understood why it took so long…

2a-crab rice

Huge! Stone bowl of rice with crab. Pretty good, generous with the crab for one thing. It took several bowls to finish it off…

2b-crab rice

Delicious. Also, I had a big ol’ side of maitake as well, which was also really good.

3-mushrooms

Sauce a bit heavy but it was delicious; the herbs were also nice to nibble on. This turned out to be quite a good early dinner. I wasn’t ready to head out yet so had a few more drinks, including this as a dessert…

jus cocktail

Yeah, it was cognac with a side of duck jus…well, it was more like a gravy than jus to be honest. It could have been better if it was jus. Oh well. But there’s a lot of off-the-wall drinks here, and it’s been good overall.

I headed out pretty happy with this dinner, though the scene is just not me. Good food tho. I headed back to the hotel-from-hell and set my alarm at the time-from-hell for my flight out tomorrow. Ugh, I am tired…

Kyu
251 NW 25th Street
Miami, Florida

Quito is a Foch-ing Nice Food Town…

24-25 August 2018

I’ve eaten quite well the last two days in Quito, from the fascinating Quitu to the excellent Nuema to the intriguing URKO, three fabulous tasting menus. But my time here is winding down, as is this entire trip.

I got up a bit groggy, as I think this trip is wearing me down a little. The altitude is one thing, but I think I never properly recovered from the tail end of that Australia-New Zealand trip thanks to those 2 red-eye flights… But I still forced myself to go, and spent the morning exploring the National Museum of Ecuador. Fascinating place, very recommended.

I did a little shopping as I walked towards Plaza Foch and then went to my lunch destination, Miskay. Some people call it a tourist trap, but it looked good.

A-canelazo

I enjoyed a nice canelazo as I ordered my lunch. Relaxed, and the opener came — the ceviche set.

A-1b-ceviche

Mmm, definitely a nice selection. The squid with the passion fruit base was really nice, the octopus with the coconut base excellent, and the shrimp in tomato quite good. A really good selection. I switched to a surprisingly good Ecuadorian red before my large main course arrived, seco de chivo.

A-2a-seco de chivo

An excellent and rich goat stew, really nice stuff. Goat tasted like goat, and the sauce excellent with the rice. Really enjoyed this, which went down well with that local red. I thanked the staff and headed out happy — but really full.

I had to run back to the hotel to deal with some trip issues, and also to pack. I was also low on energy, so didn’t explore much through the afternoon. I went for an early dinner at another place some say is a tourist trap but I say is a pretty good place, Achiote.

It’s a classy place but geared towards tourists surely, and they sat me at a nice table. They brought over a drinks cart when I ordered a local version of a caipirinha.

B-drinks cart

I like this tableside cocktail thing. Nice drink. I then relaxed and ordered my dinner. Chilled out and the place got a little busier as the early Friday evening went on. Then my starter arrived, more ceviche.

B-1b-ceviche

A nice mixture of octopus and crab here, quite nice. Not as good as lunch, but quite nice as I wrote. Then I enjoyed a glass of the surprisingly good Ecuadorian red before my main arrived, grilled cuy.

B-2a-cuy

Last dinner here, so had to do it. It’s a quarter, and it’s not much meat tho. The side veggies were nice, but the much-advertised chocolate rice was pretty lame…

B-2b-chocolate rice

Yeah, I went for it. Smells great, but tastes boring. Oh well. Finished and had room for dessert, so I ordered one and also some caña to push the evening along…

B-3-cheesecake

A rather big cheesecake for sure, but it was pretty good. The passion fruit was a good addition here. I relaxed with a coffee and another caña, and closed up and thanked my server. Again, excellent English, even though I was using my Spanish quite a lot more today. I also thanked the guitar player/singer, as I seemed to be the only one who cared — and he noticed, and was very appreciative.

Dinner was not as good as lunch food-wise, but it was a nice dining experience. The next day I had some time in the morning for some final exploration, and then I decided to have lunch before I left — since I wouldn’t arrive back in Miami until nearly midnight (including a stop at the absolutely barren Tocumen Airport in Panama).

So I found a place near my hotel called El Arrecife de las Conchas, which has a few locations focusing on seafood. It was barely open, but I went in anyway. Workers weren’t ready, but quickly got to moving. The work ethic in Quito is so much better than in Colombian cities I have to say…

With a really delicious coconut juice in hand, I ordered my lunch. After a short time my starter arrived, a shrimp empanada.

C-1-empanada

Meh, it’s filled badly, skimped on the filling. Oh well, what did I expect. Then after a bit my larger-than-expected main arrives, the arroz marinero

C-2-arroz

A nice bit of seafood here, and the rice is very tasty. Huge dish, full of various seafoods. But it was perhaps too filling for a lot of flying. I was stuffed as I headed out, pretty satisfied with my last bit of food in Ecuador. I thanked my server and headed back to the hotel to head to the airport.

This trip to Ecuador has been eye-opening. Beautiful place, extremely hospitable. The food sector is doing better than Colombia IMHO, with far better servers with better language skills. The food itself is excellent, both traditional and modern cooking, using some excellent ingredients. I enjoyed this segment far more than the Colombian ones, and I see so much promise for this town I’ve grown to really like. This town is way, way underrated on the food trail!

I’ll be back, Quito, ¡mil gracias!

Miskay
Calle Joaquín Pinto 312

Achiote
Calle Juan Rodríguez 282

El Arrecife de las Conchas
Avenida Isabel Católica 953
Quito, Ecuador

Review: URKO

23 August 2018

After a busy day exploring Quito, I was getting hungry again. The excellent lunch at Nuema had carried me through the afternoon, but I have another nice dining experience planned for this evening. As I was doing research for this trip, URKO kept popping up on my radar as a place to check out.

It was not a far walk from my hotel, so I took the stroll (albeit uphill) in the nice cool evening. I so like this weather here! I arrived at URKO and upon informing them I was most happy to do their tasting menu, they led me to the second floor seating area. They had said very little at this point, so I was a little confused. They brought out a glass of chucula as I waited…

Pretty delicious, this local plantain-based drink also had a nice bit of plaintain vinegar, so it was in essence a palate cleanser. Then after a few minutes, still with not much info, we (there was a couple who had also come at the same time) were led to the rooftop where there was not just the urban garden where they grow a lot of their vegetables and herbs, but also an outdoor charcoal grill. After a tour of the plants, we were led to seats at the grill.

We were served some herbed water as the cook at the grill was hard at work. Soon the first item was presented…

01-mango-apple

A delicious little nibble comprised of mango, apple, pepper and eveb cacao nibs. A good blend of acid that again helped to open the palate but not overwhelm it Danish-style. Then we have a treat wrapped in leaf, which they carefully cut open…

02b-red mullet

Mmmm, this red mullet is delicious, lovely flavours with excellent texture in the flesh. It’s accentuated with just a tiny bit of artisanal cheese, with cassava, chimichurri amongst other touches. Really nice. And this charcoal aroma is just wonderful…

Well, we were then led back downstairs, and actually to our tables. I sat down at mine, overlooking the bustling street, and relaxed. This should be good. A glass of chicha de jora is presented with the next dish…

03-cuy

I’m guessing this is cuy (and I learned later I was correct, cuy belly to be precise), which was quite nice. The accompanying oca was nice, accentuated by the paico leaf, all covered by black bread powder. Really an excellent dish here, the bread powder doing wonders.

So far going well! After a little time, a wee herbed kombucha is presented (BTW I had ordered the “traditional” pairing) and we have a beautifully-plated dish…

04-chicken pâté

Though focused on chicken pâté on the tapioca chip, other elements like radish (for texture) and peppermint (for flavour) added to the overall appeal of this bite. Very delicious. Then we have another item, continuing with the chicken theme…

05b-chicken

A lovely duo here. First up we have an extremely tasty chicken skewer, probably cooked upstairs on that excellent charcoal grill. Really high quality stuff, reminds me of how good this tastes in Japan…

05c-yolk

And the second is the “yolk” swimming in an amazing broth. Oh my is this good, the broth containing an ancestral black pepper called neapia that is very important to the Secoya people from the Amazon. I can drink this broth all day…so good. Forget those “bone broth” things people flog in Michelin-starred places, this beats it on a daily basis…

I was still enjoying the flavour of that broth when the next series began, starting with an apple drink. Then the next item, based on cucumber, arrives…

06-cucumber

Thin layers, with touches of nettle, very refreshingly served in a tomato-based base with a touch of avocado oil. Nice mixture of vegetable flavours, and again very refreshing. It helped to clean the palate from that awesome broth (too bad tho!), as we move into the selection for the main course…

07a-pork

Hard to see from this angle, but the pork is quite delicious. It came with a lot of goodies…

07c-salad

The peas were delicious, and the salad much needed. A nice bread with herbal butter too. All of it made for several platings’ worth of food…

z

Look how good this pork is, just juicy, deep and delicious. They sourced it from a local farmer, as they also control the interesting feed. Really delicious. And that salad was also quite excellent. A lovely close to the savouries, though I was still a bit hungry as the portions (aside from the last dish) was modest.

We shift into the dessert portion now. BTW the service has been absolutely excellent. The entire team of servers have impeccable English and described the dishes in excellent detail. Frankly, the service I’ve seen in Quito has blown away most places I’ve seen in Latin America, including the lauded-yet-shitty D.O.M. in São Paulo. Frankly staff from that 2-“Michelin” restaurant should come here to be taught a lesson on service. Talking about dessert…

08-guanábana

A really delicious guanábana treat here, with a touch of lemongrass, all accentuated with some nice tart local lemon ice. Love the acid balance here, again done so well without that unnatural Danish acid-until-you-dissolve philosophy. I am gonna so miss having guanábana when I head back north… All this worked with a delicious drink of sugar cane juice with cacao. And we keep going with the second dessert, which would put a smile on anyone’s face…

09-chocolate

Oh my is this chocolate rich, extremely deep, with the granola mixture giving it some texture. And on the side, goat milk ice cream topping some slices of red banana. This may be one of my favourite dessert dishes of the year, wow… And with a sparkling herbal drink focused on mint acting as the final palate cleanser, we have the final treat…

10-end

The chocolate one on the left is naturally cacao-centric, lovely with a touch of mint. The right we have a wonderful amalgamation of mulberry and strawberry, a fantastic final combination of tart and sweet. An excellent close.

I enjoyed some excellent coffee (enough for 3 cups) as the evening wound down. This has been another excellent meal here in Quito, 3 out of 4. I really enjoyed a lot of the food; oh that broth with the chicken! The pork was also absolutely fantastic. However, I wish the portions were a tad larger on the savoury side, but that was made up with the longer dessert segment. And at the beginning they should probably explain the process a bit better as the upstairs-downstairs thing was a little confusing — though that was part of the charm to be up on the roof for the opening segment. And perhaps the paired drinks should have been described a bit clearer during the opening, as they paried well but was not done as smoothly as, let’s say, at Leo the other night.

But overall, the service was awesome, and they can teach some Michelin-starred places a lesson on hospitality and efficiency that’s for sure.

Again, highly recommended! Another wonderful example of modern Ecuadorian cooking bringing the best out of Ecadorian ingredients!

URKO
24-862 Isabel La Católica
Quito, Ecuador

Review: Nuema

23 August 2018

I woke up after an okay sleep, looking to spend the morning exploring Quito’s old town. The historic UNESCO site is something I had wanted to see for ages, so I was happy to spend the morning exploring it. Such a lovely area, full of energy and activity, but beautiful history to see as well.

I had also timed my lunch today at Nuema, which is based in the old town, for after the long stroll. This was the other restaurant my friend Leonor Espinosa from Leo in Bogotá had recommended, and since Quitu had worked out so well I was really looking forward to this lunch.

If you check Google and it says the restaurant has closed, it has just moved — into the boutique ILLA Experience Hotel in Quito’s historic old town. I got there and was seated at a nice seat. I was hungry, especially after that disappointing dinner at Laboratorio Diseño Gastronomico last night. The server was extremely efficient and again had excellent English (my goodness, the service staff in Quito has really impressed me), and took me through what was to be a tasting menu of modern Ecuadorian cooking.

I happily went with a wine they recommended and commenced with the dining experience. Not long after I started sipping the wine, the first dish appeared, based on the melon.

1-melón

Apparently the name of the fruit is just “melón” and it was delicious, graced with cocoa nibs and peppermint. Delicious and refreshing. A nice start! Then we have a ceviche next.

2-ceviche

Interesting, the shrimp is worked by a peanut-based sauce, bringing an interesting dimension to the seafood. Some corn, oxalis and onions help it along. Pretty good for sure. I enjoyed a bit more of the Chilean red and we have a fun “cappuccino” here…

3-cappuccino

It’s actually a potato soup with milk foam on top, all with an avocado base. An interesting item, and pretty good mixed together. It really grew on me with each spoonful, and by the end I was wishing there was more. Excellent! Then we move into the larger dishes, first up being lamb.

4-lamb

The meat is very tender and flavourful, the sauce really tasty with the mustard seeds. The cassava was a bit less interesting though the beans were nice. Not bad. Next up, a dish based on the ubiquitous plantain.

5-plantain

Far better than you think, as plantains are delicious in any case. I love plantains, and this roasted version is garnished with a seafood sauce. Pretty good again. I’m enjoying this lunch very much. Then we have the main dish, the pork belly.

6b-pork belly

Nice and slow roasted, this was really nice. Really good quality, nice portion for a main. I was getting a bit full, so the pacing worked just perfectly. Delicious.

Had a nice chat now with Chef Alejandro Chamorro as he brought out the dessert…

7-apple chamomile

A nice apple and chamomile treat, with a nice moringa ice cream. A delicious closing number. I really enjoyed today’s lunch, much like yesterday’s.

There are distinct differences with yesterday’s excellent lunch at Quitu. Today’s is far more approchable, and the cooking is more refined and modern, compared to yesterday’s more exotic and rustic rendition. Both are excellent to explore Ecuadorian cuisine, and I’m glad I got to do both of these. Both are highly recommended!

I thanked my server and chef as I headed out to wait for my car back to my hotel. After this, I need a siesta before I do anything more. Another good lunch!

Nuema
ILLA Experience Hotel
Calle Junín E1-44
Quito, Ecuador

Review: Laboratorio Diseño Gastronomico

22 August 2018

I had a pretty chill afternoon after that excellent lunch at Quitu, running a few errands like stocking up on water at the supermarket and ironing clothes. I was still not well from the hangover, so didn’t want to push anything today. Dinner was on the cards, but that’s about it. So it was time for a little rest as my body acclimatise to this altitude.

Dinner tonight is at a place called Laboratorio Diseño Gastronomico — an incubator for experimental cooking in Quito. I looked at the website, was a little sceptical, but the Spanish-Ecuadorian fusion looked good, so I had booked this before hand. However, when I checked their social media, they had switched formats! It’s now a Korean-Ecuadorian fusion thing! Oh geez…

A lesson for me to check social media accounts of restaurants, not just their websites. In any case, I walked there in the nice cool evening…oh, this is so nice. In fact, it’s a little chilly, and when I got to the restaurant, I was seated outside next to their wood stove… I looked over the menu and was a bit puzzled by this unexpected surprise, so I ordered a few things. Apparently they were running a cocktail special, so I happily had a few…

After a little bit, as I enjoyed my drink, the starter arrived, the kimchee dumplings…

1-dumplings

Fried but served in a steamer? Well, this was pretty lame to be honest. They kept falling apart, and it’s nothing to write home about. It’s not even up to cheap NYC Koreatown quality to be honest… Sigh, this may have been a mistake… Then after a bit of time the main course comes, what I thought was ribs…

2-costilla

Well, it kinda was, but it was chopped into blocks. It was low on flavour, and trimmed so it was excessively lean for rib meat. And sadly the Andean tubers on top were basically wasted as they were flavourless on their own, and once they touch the sauce they were borderline inedible…

Not sure what is going on here, but… Since I had one more cocktail coming, I ordered one more item. Chef came out to make sure I wanted spicy, so…

3-pollo

Well, fried chicken. It’s again pretty lame. Not spicy, the sauce a bit sticky as you expect, but when it’s missing the spicy component it’s a mess. I finished up and settled up to get out of this weak dinner.

Sigh…this is indeed an incubator, but it’s not working as one would wish. Quito has enough Asian restaurants, especially in this part of town, for this to be a bit inexcusable. And the fact this was twice as expensive as lunch says even more.

I’m sure they have some good ideas and executions, but for this cycle, unless they improve on this set, don’t bother until they rotate to their next experiment. This experiment failed.

Laboratorio Diseño Gastronomico
Calle Lizardo García E10-64
Quito, Ecuador

Review: Quitu

22 August 2018

I headed to Ecuador with a horrific hangover. Drank too much last night with that spectacular dinner at Leo, and compounded by the altitude not just of Bogotá, but of El Alto — where the airport is. Then of course, the altitude of Quito, which is even higher…

The long ride from Quito’s airport to the centre is a pretty spectacular ride with some stunning views, and I enjoyed it as we rolled into town and I arrived at my very nice hotel. I’m glad they let me check in a bit early, as I managed to catch my breath and unpack before I head out for lunch.

Chef of last night’s amazing dinner, Leonor Espinosa, had given me a few recs for Quito as she was just here recently, and one of them was Quitu. It was a 10-minute walk from my hotel and I arrived for a quiet lunch. They offered a tasting menu, so I happily went for it.

No booze today with this altitude (and hangover), so just had some local tea they offered as I relaxed. They didn’t have a printed menu, as they only work with what they can source from their network of producers every day. This should be interesting.

Bread with some different spreads were presented, then the opener arrived, and it’s a drink…

1-fermented corn

Very interesting, a mildly fermented drink made from 7 different types of corn. It’s a very interesting combination of tart and sweet, both very distinct but not in conflict. Really refreshing, I liked it. Then we have some red snapper.

2-red snapper

Mmm, this ceviche is really delicious, the acid working really nicely with the fresh fish. A good start for sure. Then a tasting of beets…

3-beets

Pretty good again, worked really well with the local vinegar. Those were apparently snacks, as we now start the menu with a tasting of heritage potatoes.

4-potatoes

Now my readers know I’m not a big fan of potatoes, but that’s the bland stuff we get everywhere cheap. These are fantastic heritage potatoes, bringing new nuances to the overused tuber. The black potato was my favourite amongst the group here, rich with earthiness with a nice texture. Really enjoyed that too.

So far things are going pretty good, I’m glad I came out here for lunch! Then we have the next dish based on pork…

5-pork

Mmm, this is quite nice, the broth here is extremely tasty based on blue corn and asparagus. The pork was a little messy though, as some soft bone got through the mincing/pulling process, but it was very tasty. Nice dish. Then next up, very traditional, we have cuy.

6

Sorry for those of you not liking this, but it’s traditional here. Very nice, the cracking working very well. There is also a nice selection of roast local tubers, really nice. Throw in some excellent tomatoes, and we have a very solid dish. Then next up, llama.

7-llama

Mmm, this worked really well. Apparently it has been cooking for 3 days, and the anise cream, albeit sweet, actually was really good for this exotic meat. Very tasty meat by the way. That was a nice set of savouries. We transition now to the sweets as the first item comes up…

8-rhubarb chamomile

An interesting dessert to say the least. The chamomile ice cream was nice, topped by some rhubarb. But the best part were the baby caramelised carrots — they were delicious! Excellent use of the sweetness of carrots. Then finally, a closing chocolate number…

9-chocolate

Mmm, this is delicious, such rich chocolate. The citrusy ice cream made of naranjilla again works so well together with the chocolate, not fighting it at all. Really wonderful combination.

Well, this was fantastic! I had a coffee and thanked the staff for the excellent lunch. My server did a wonderful job describing the dishes, and frankly had the best English for a server than anywhere in Colombia the last few days (except at Leo). Really good stuff, highly recommended to enjoy some quality Ecuadorian cuisine.

And guess what, it all cost under $25 (remember they use the US dollar in Ecuador). Highly recommended!

Now for that uphill walk back…

Quitu
Calle Juan Rodríguez 159
Quito, Ecuador