El Bistro, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Why not! Getting the most out of a city’s culinary force is always done by dining across the spectrum, from little hole in the walls to fine dining, and I certainly am not going to pass up the opportunity to experience food from an El Bulli graduate. Located in the stunning Faena hotel, El Bistro  is a visual treat, being all decked out in white with tinges of red, with unicorn heads gazing upon you as you feast your way through the evening. One almost feels like Alice in Wonderland! Tasting menu? Yes please!

Nibbles
Borscht
Tuna

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Nibbles were chilli glazed pistachios, bread crisps, sesame square, followed by a rather uninspiring Borscht with goats cheese. 

The first course came by way of Seared tuna & chilled tomato soup , (a gazpacho, by any other name, tastes just as refreshing!) The soup was ponured on after and made for altogether light yet soothing starter.

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Octopus
Salmon
Tortellini

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3 enormous chunks of the most succulent Octopus with confit potatoes and red pepper salsa arrived next and were a veritable delight and much nicer than the

Slow cooked salmon, butter foam, cauliflower & coconut puree  that also had crispy shiitake mushrooms on it (best part of the dish).

Pork and chilli tortelini, lemon and lemongrass broth, tomato foam did have the zing, but the pasta was too thick and effectually not worth eating.

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Sea bass
Lamb
Pre-dessert

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An enormous chunk of Chilean sea bass with assortment of vegetables was astoundingly tender and easily one of the best pieces of fish I have consumed in recent times. The sheer thickness of it puts any European sea bass to shame.

Next came Lamb, asparagus, pumpkin and anise puree which had tiny dots of pistachio puree that lifted the simplicity of the plate rather nicely.

My pre-dessert was a gorgeous mouthful of Tamarind sorbet, warm white chocolate foam. 

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Ginger, lemon, mojito
Tiramisu

The hightlight of the meal was easily Lemon cake, ginger and mint puree, mojito sorbet. The ginger and mint puree was a pungent, unsweetened spoonful that contained enough ginger to make anyone happy! The lemon cake and mojito sorbet too, played extremely well with the ginger and the lightness of the dessert was very welcome!

Not being a huge fan of tiramisu, I didn’t quite take to the Deconstructed tiramisu which to me resembled a mess. Nevertheless, the flavours were all there, there was no wet and soggy cake as is always the case with this dessert and the little coffee meringues added a nice crunch.

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The only problem with the meal is that each course is a little too big to be part of a long tasting menu and I was unbearably stuffed at the end of it – a veritable food and wine coma! The staff are extremely friendly, taking the time to explain the dish in Spanish and English (ideal for someone learning the language).

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Overall experience: 8
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 7

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