Saturday, 19 November 2011

Eating Chile.

There are a lot of places to eat in Valparaíso ranging from Sports Bars to Silver Service.  In Australia, only the best restaurants offer complimentary bread on seating – In Valpo, any place that supplies cutlery also offers free bread and, usually, pebre or some other salsa.  Most eateries have a Menu del Día, which is a set menu with several choices of entrada, fondos y postre, (entrée, main, and dessert).  The price can range from CLP$2,500 to $8,500 per person depending on the view, overall quality of restaurant and food.  We’ve found that we can happily share two meals between the four of us and get to sample a variety of tastes.

Thanks to our great friend Boris from Chilean Cuisine Cooking Classes we know good quality, traditional Chilean food when we see it.    One of the things I’m looking forward to most when we return to Australia is cooking a few Chilean feasts for our family and friends. 

These are some of the restaurants close to our apartment that we have tried and recommend. 

Almacen Nacional on the corner of Uriola and Almirante Montt makes the most delicious handmade empanadas we have tasted since being in Valparaíso.  We have had the delight of attending this restaurant a few times and each time have enjoyed not only the great food and attentive service but also the cool, fun decor of the interior.  Highly recommended.

El Desayunador the permanent breakfast café at the end of Paseo Dimalow often has the best quality for the lowest price on our hill.  The coffee is strong and hot and the eggs are delicious.  They also make a pretty mean empanada. They aren’t always on the menu but if you happen to be going by and see them on the black board they are definitely worth stopping for. 

Viavia Café and accommodation is also on Paeso Dimolow and serves well cooked and nicely presented dishes inspired by Belgium flavours.   If you’re not interested in trying strictly Chilean food then this is the restaurant for you.  We have eaten at Viavia a few times and always had really lovely flavours.  The menu del día is always elegant and well priced.

Normas’s restaurant on Almirante Montt has a generous and delicious Menu del día.  With a huge selection for each of the three courses you are bound to find something for everyone.  The locals seem to know about this old gem but I’m not sure if the long stairs up to the slightly hidden restaurant does it any favours with the tourists.  Norma’s gets a big thumbs up from us, in all aspects from the soft fresh bread as an amuse to the friendly and prompt service.

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