La Coetzina Pies & Pastries

As we come into the silly season, the question on everybody´s lips is ¨where do I buy those flaming mince pies?!¨ Christmas is when many of us expats give in to nostalgia and start reminiscing about the food joys of our youth: the Christmas pudding, the trifle and ambrosia, roast dinners and pies … This is the time when I give in to the urge and start traipsing around the city in search of advent calendars and imported biscuits and tightly boxed up (and expensive) puddings, with the hope that each bite will transport me into the past when Christmas was simply the most magical moment of the year.

A medida que entramos en la temporada navideña, la pregunta en boca de todos es “¿dónde comprar esos pastelitos que recuerdan mi niñez?!¨ La Navidad es cuando muchos de nosotros, los expatriados, nos entregamos a la nostalgia y comenzamos a recordar las alegrías de la comida de nuestra juventud: el pudín de Navidad, la trifle y la ambrosía, las cenas al horno y pasteles … Este es el momento en que cedo ante el impulso y empiezo a pasear por la ciudad en busca de calendarios navideños y galletas importadas, y postres caros, con la esperanza de que cada mordisco me transportara al pasado cuando la Navidad era simplemente el momento más mágico del año.

Allow me to introduce La Coetzina South African Pies & Pastries, a home-based business that will not only blow your Christmas-crazed mind, but that also ticks all those boxes that are important to me: small and local. I have even wrangled a special offer for my readers too  – 10% if you order before the end of February!! Now let´s turn the spotlight on Adel to find out more about her delicious creations …

Permítanme presentar La Coetzina South African Pies & Pastries, un negocio hogareño que no solo hará volar su mente enloquecida por la Navidad, sino que también cumple todos los requisitos que son importantes para mí: pequeño y local. Ofrezco una oferta especial para mis lectores: ¡10% si compras antes de finales de febrero! Ahora centrémonos en Adel para saber más sobre sus deliciosas creaciones …

offer_ 10% off if you quote querida recoleta! valid until the end of february 2018

Ten Questions with Adel from La Coetzina/Diez Preguntas con Adel de La Coetzina

La Coetzina is an online bakery, primarily of South African goodies, but with a lot of international favorites, that strives to create nostalgia with their home baked and cooked food. Order before Thursday with delivery on Friday each week.  80% of items can be made vegan, gluten-free, whole grain or lactose free. 

La Coetzina es una panadería online, principalmente sudafricana, pero con muchas preparaciones internacionales, que se esfuerza por crear nostalgia con su comida casera y cocinada. Ordene antes del Jueves con entrega los Viernes de cada semana. El 80% de los artículos se pueden hacer veganos, sin gluten, integrales o sin lactosa.

 Who is La Coetzina/Quien es La Coetzina?

My name is Adel and I am from the outskirts of Cape Town in South Africa. I have no formal training but grew up with two grandmas who inspired me. My mum´s mom baked cakes for a living and taught me about fondant and the tricks of the trade since I was a teeny weeny little girl. My dad´s mum was a hardcore farm woman who taught me about farm food, life and the basics- the perfect balance.  My fiance Carlos helps me in the kitchen.

Mi nombre es Adel y soy de Sudáfrica. No tengo entrenamiento formal pero crecí con dos abuelas que me inspiraron. La mamá de mi mamá horneaba pasteles para ganarse la vida y me enseñó sobre el fondant y los trucos del oficio, ya que yo era una niñita chiquita. La madre de mi padre era una granjera que me enseñó sobre lo básico de la comida y la vida en la granja. El equilibrio perfecto. Mi novio Carlos me ayuda en la cocina.

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Where the magic begins – baking headquaters!

What made you move to Chile/Que te motivo para venir a Chile?

After living in Spain for 4 years, (and eleven years of traveling) I decided it was time for a new adventure.  Ipacked my bags and came to Chile to teach English at an institute for one year. I met Carlos halfway through that year and it was love at first sight! One thing led to the other and here I am.

Después de vivir en España durante 4 años, decidí que era hora de una nueva aventura, hice las maletas y vine a Chile a enseñar inglés en un instituto por un año. Conocí a Carlos a la mitad de ese año y fue amor a primera vista. Una cosa llevó a la otra y aquí estoy.

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Photo of Adel

What made you start your own business/Que te hizo comenzar tu propio negocio?

I ALWAYS wanted to have a bakery. When I was a kid my Barbie dolls even had a bakery.  Because the one cent coin in South Africa is really brown and small, I used to pretend it was my Barbies´ chocolate cookies. I didn´t play house house when I was little, I just pretended to have a bakery. When I was in South Africa in March 2016, I was watching TV while visiting my family when Carlos called me and asked to  check a specific website. It was La Coetzina. He bought a web domain, came up with the name and surprised me.

SIEMPRE quise tener una panadería. Incluso mis Barbies, cuando era niña,tenían una panadería. Jugaba con las pequeñas monedas sudáfricanas, pretendiendo que eran galletas de mis muñecas.  Por lo tanto siempre ha sido mi sueño.  Estuve en Sudáfrica en Marzo de 2016 viendo televisión mientras visitaba a mi familia, cuando Carlos me llamó y me pidió que revisara un sitio web específico. Fue La Coetzina. Se le ocurrió el nombre, compro el sitio web y eso me sorprendió mucho.

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Cranberry, raisin, apple, cherry, cinnamon and rum filled mince pies, all wrapped up in sweet pastry.  $10,000 for 12

What is your favorite thing to make/ Cual es tu preparacion favorita?

Orange cake. I love raw batter and I always leave the mixing bowl in the fridge to enjoy scraping out after the long days work – honestly! The most time consuming would be koeksisters – they are a lot of work.  First I make the dough, then knead it for twenty minutes. Then I let it sit for an hour, roll it out and cut out three fingers for each, which I then plait and fry. I then make the syrup, dunk them in and finally – voila!

Pastel de naranja. Me encanta la masa cruda y siempre dejo el tazón en la nevera para disfrutar de los raspados después de los largos días de trabajo. ¡Honestamente! Los que consumen más tiempo son los koeksisters, son mucho trabajo. Primero hago la masa, luego la amaso durante veinte minutos. Luego lo dejo reposar durante una hora, lo extiendo, lo corto en tres dedos cada uno, y luego los trenzo y los frio. Luego hago el jarabe, los meto en el agua y, finalmente, esta listo!

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Orange Cake $14,000

What is your bestseller/ Cual es el producto mas vendido?

Beetroot chocolate cake!!! Pureed beetroot gives the cake a wonderful moist and velvety texture without tasting the beets at all – NO lies. It´s just 60% beets, cacao amargo and some other ingredients, all vegan, and drenched in fudge frosting or ganache. I put a super amount of icing on cakes because – how else? Everyone that has tried this cake has fallen in love instantly with it and swears its their favorite.

Pastel de chocolate de beterraga !!! La beterraga pura le da al pastel una maravillosa textura húmeda y aterciopelada sin probar la beterraga. Sin mentiras. 60% de beterraga, cacao amargo y algunos otros ingredientes, todos veganos. Empapado en fudge frosting o ganache. Puse una gran cantidad de glaseado en tortas. ¿De que otra forma? Cualquiera que haya probado este pastel se ha enamorado de él al instante y jura que es su favorito.

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Beetroot Choc Cake. Price between $18,000-$30,000 depending on size

Your business is based around South African pies and pastries. What are some typical yummy things we could try from there/ Tu panaderia se basa en productos sudafricanos. Que producto tradicional puedes recomendarnos?

Koeksisters, which are a South African pastry dipped in lemon and ginger syrup.  Bobotie is a meat dish consisting of ground beef mixed with lots of raisins, spices and curry topped with egg custard and served with rice, chutney and coconut (both below).

Koeksisters es un pastel tradicional que es sumergido en un jarabe de limon y jengibre. Bobotie es un plato que consiste de carne molida mezclada con pasas, especies y curry con crema pastelera y servido con arroz, chutney y coco.

What does ´La Coetzina´ mean/ Que significa La Coetzina?

It is a mix of my surname, Coetzee, and cocina (kitchen in Spanish).

Es una mezcla de mi apellido, Coetzee, y la palabra cocina.

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Traditional Mince Lasagna $24,000

What do you miss from South Africa and what do you like about living in Chile/ Que extrañas de Sudafrica y que te gusta sobre Chile?

I miss the people – loud, funny and witty with a dash of sarcasm. In Chile I love all the fresh produce, especially the ferias (markets) and La Vega, any chef´s dream.

Extraño la gente reuidosa y chistosa con un toque de sarcasmo. En Chile me gusta la variedad de frutos y vegetales frescos, especialmente las ferias y La Vega, el sueño de un chef.

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Frikadelle (South African meatballs) $8000

Where is your favorite place in Chile/ Cual es tu lugar favorito en Chile?

Tirana (town) when La Tirana festival is on.

El pueblo de la Tirana durante la festividad.

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes (6) $12,000

Do you have a favorite food spot/ Tienes un lugar preferido para comida?

Nothing in particular, although I love the rooftop restaurants in Valparaiso where Carlos is from. My favorite food is Mote con Heusillo at any street feria, eating and drinking while browsing. The best combination.

Nada en particular, pero me gustan los restaurantes con terrazas en Valparaiso, de donde Carlos proviene. Me gusta tomar Mote con Huesillo en la feria.

What is next for La Coetzina/ Cual es el futuro para La Coetzina?

To have a shop or not have a shop, that is the big question. La Coetzina is doing so well online that I´m tied. A little cafeteria would be ideal because at the moment you can only order half or full portions of my food, and delivery is only on Fridays. I can issue boletas and facturas, and I have a kitchen assistant. I think the next step would be to have more delivery days, expand here at home and then see if I still want to open a shop.

Tener o no una tienda, esa es la gran pregunta. Hemos tenido tanto exito online que no estamos seguros de abrir una tienda. Una pequeña cafeteria seria ideal porque en este momento solo si pueden comprar porciones grandes, y despacho es solo los Viernes. Puedo dar boletas y facturas, y tambien tengo un asistente de cocina.  El proximo paso sera establecer mas dias de despacho, expandir mi trabajo en casa y despues ver si la posibilidad de una tienda.

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English Muffins $800 c/u

Christmas/Navidad!!

Cut-off date for Christmas orders is the 15 December

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Pan de Pascua with buttercream glaze $12,000
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Hot Cross Buns $12,000
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Gingerbread men (8) $4000
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Gingerbread Houses $850 c/u
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More posts for foodies:

the salt of Cahuil;

wild food at Silvestre Bistro;

vegetarian and vegan food at La Fraternal;

Restaurant Casa Luz review;

Australian tukka at Jimbo´s Pie Shop;
Vietnamese fare at Rico Saigon Cafe;
Chinese restaurant Foodlays;
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For the Love of Bread: Meet La Farine Pan a La Antigua

Chile is having a love affair with bread.

This country adores its pancito. People line up morning and evening to buy the day´s haul, scrounging about in bottomless bins for the freshest options before placing that ubiquitous yellow bag on the scale to be weighed. From the traditional panaderia, where they make four roll marrequetas that are cooked with water in the oven to create a crispy crust (read an amazing article about it here) through to amasanderias where they prepare all other types of Chilean bread like the humble hallulla or (my favorite) pan amasado, bread really is a staple part of the daily life here – best enjoyed with lashings of avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  And of course no lunch outing would be complete without a free bread basket and pebre.

It makes sense, then, to draw attention to a small place making big waves in the bread world.  La Farine – Pan a la Antigua is located in Curacavi, just outside of Santiago near by Kross ¨preservative-free¨brewery and Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics (and maker of my favorite conditioner ever).  I found them because Casa Luz, one of my favorite restaurants in Santiago, has used their bread and highlighted them on Instagram. They have just opened up their new store and make a great side stop on your way to Valparaiso or the Casablanca Valley.  Let´s find out a little more shall we?

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Ten Questions with Josefina from La Farine – Pan a la Antigua

1.Who is La Farine/ Quien es La Farine?

We are a family that decided to learn the trade, from the art of making bread to how to sell this ancestral product in Curacavi.  We are a 6 person team with the whole family involved: Daniel, Josefina, Pia, Miel, Violeta and Hernan.  Each person has a different role to play.

La Farine es una familia que decidio aprender el oficio, desde el arte de hacer el pan hasta como vender este ancestral producto en Curacavi.  Somos un equipo de 6: Daniel, Josefina, Pia, Miel, Violeta y Hernan. Toda la familia involucrada, cada uno cumpliendo roles en los diferentes momentes de esta actividad. 

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2. Do you have any family history making bread/ Tienes una historia de familia trabajando con el pan?

Not at all. Daniel is a chef and life was slowly taking him down the bread path, and then after an adventure in France we realized that we wanted to dedicate our life to it.  We are creating a family tradition.

No para nada. Daniel es cocinero y la vida lentamente lo fue llevando por el camino del pan, ahora en nuestra ultima aventura por Francia nos dimos cuenta de que realmente era lo que nos quieramos dedicar. Estamos creando una tradicion familiar. 

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3. What is the motivation behind the store/Que es la motivacion de la tienda?

Our daily motivation is to make good bread, to recover the most that we can from this ancient tradition and to reach more people eery day, so that they change the bread that they normally eat for something that is more nutritious, with intense flavour and aroma.

Nuestra motivacion diaria es elaborar un buen pan, recuperar en lo que mas se pueda esta tan antigua tecnica y poder llegar dia a dia a mas personas, que la gente cambie el pan que consme normalmente y se atreva a comer un pan realmente nutritivo, con sabor y aromas intensos.

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4. What type of bread do you make/Que tipos de pan venden?

We make bread from all over the world as well as some of Daniel´s own recipes. We make country bread loaves, Batard, Brioche, Bagels, Rye (40% rye flour) Pan with olives or chocolate, hamburger buns, Focaccia, Pizza, Fig & Nut, Turmeric & Cranberry … and anything else our customers ask for. The interesting thing is that we use sourdough and we are always seeking to perfect our product.

Hacemos panes del mundo y recetas improvisadas por Daniel. Hogazas Pan de Campo, Baguette de tradicion, Batard, Brioche, Bagels, Moldes de centeno al 40%, Pan con Aceituna, pan Higo Nuez, Hogazas Curcuma & Cranberries, Pan de Chocolate, Pan de Hamburguesa, Focaccia, Pizzas … y tambien lo que nos pidan nuestros clientes. Lo interesante es que utilamos masa madre y prefermentos. El intenta perfeccionar el producto constantemente.

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5. Which bread is your favorite/Cuales tipos de pan son tus favoritos?

The sourdough with linseed and the baguette.

Hogaza integral centeno y baguette de tradicion.

6. Which bread is very ¨chilean¨ to you and why do Chileans stereotypically eat so much of it/ Cual pan para ti es muy ´chileno´ y por que los chilenos comen tanto?

The truth is that I don´t know why Chileans eat so much bread – we have the second highest consumption in the world – and the bread that we eat is not very healthy with an infinity of ingredients that generate sicknesses and obesity. Of our breads, none are Chilean as our inspiration is linked to cultures far from Chile where there exist more varieties and a different culture of bread-making.

La verdad que no se como los chilenos comen tanto pan – somos el segundo pais qe come mas pan el mundo y comemos un pan muy poco saludable, con una infinidad de ingredientes que lo unico que logran son generar enfermedades y obesidad. De nuestros panes, la verdad es que ninguno es Chileno, nuestra inspiracion esta muy ligada a culturas lejos de Chile donde existen mas variedades y una cultura de pan diferente.

7. What makes your bread special/ Por que tu pan es especial?

What I think makes our bread special (and all those who make these types of breads) is that we take our time seriously, respect processes to the letter, love what we do and are constantly inspired by master bakers from all over the world. The use of the sourdough gives the bread that something special: it gives greater durability, flavor and aroma as well as being easier to digest. For example, we have customers who are intolerant to gluten but who can eat our bread. This type of bread was invented more than 4,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt and we are simply recovering some of the oldest techniques in the world.

Lo que yo creo que hace especial tanto a nuestro pan como al de todos los que hacen este mismo tipo de panificacion es que nos tomamos enserio el tiempo, respetamos los procesos al pie de la letra, amamos lo que hacemos y no inspiramos constantemente por maestros panaderos alrededor del mundo. El uso de la masa madre le otorga un valor especial al pan. Le otorga mayor durabilidad, sabor y aromas mas intensos. Mucho mas facil de digerir. Por ejemplo tenemos clientes que son intolerantes al gluten pero pueden consumir nuestro tipo de pan. Nosotros no inventamos este tipo de pan especial, lo inventaron los egipcios hace mas de 4.000 años, Lo que nosotros hacemos es simplemente recuperar la tecnica de unos de los oficios mas antiguos del mundo.

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8. And now for some general questions! Where is your favorite place for food in Chile/ Donde esta tu lugar favorito para comer en Chile?

The island of Chiloe. where I discovered the culinary traditions that are still maintained there, as well as their myths and legends.

En Chiloe, descubri que la tradicion culinaria se mantiene en esas tierras. Asi como sus mitos y leyendas.

9. And your favorite place you have visited in Chile/ Donde esta tu lugar favorito en Chile?

The south of Chile.

El sur de Chile.

10. What is next for La Farine/ Que quieres para el futuro para La Farine?

The truth is that we don´t think that far into the future as we are 100% focused on doing a good job in the present.  I think that time will show us new paths and options, but in essence we will always be following the same goal – to make good bread.

But if we are dreaming, we would love to be able to plant our own wild wheat, make our flour and be completely self-sufficient.

La verdad es que no pensamos tanto en el futuro de la farine , estamos 100 % enfocados en hacer un buen trabajo en el presente, creo que el tiempo nos ira mostrando nuevos caminos y opciones, y que en escencia sigamos siendo siempre los mismos y con el mismo objetivo , hacer un buen pan.

Pero si se trata de soñar, nos encantaria poder sembrar nuestra propia variedad de trigo salvaje, tener nuestra harina y ser completamente autosuficientes.

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The Nitty Gritty

Address: Ambrosio O´Higgins 1216, Local 2, Curacavi.

They deliver twice a month to Rasavant (Casa de las Artes, Cuerpo y Terapia), La Pinta 2972, Las Condes (Metro Colon). Follow their amazing account on Instagram to be up to date with future drop off dates!

Facebook here

Instagram here

Ambrosia: Number 20 of Latin America´s 50 Best Restaurants

Restaurant Ambrosia has been a recommendation on the tip of everyone´s tongues lately. ¨Go to Ambrosia!¨ is what I´ve been commanded from pretty much all the foodie buffs and so, being someone who thinks only of her stomach, we booked ourselves in for a romantic child-free Friday night*.

Ambrosia is headed by chef Carolina Bazan, and sommelier/manager, Rosario Onetto.  Bazan gained her culinary skills at restaurants in Brazil, Asia, Asia and Europe, the latter of which saw her placed at Gregory Marchand´s Frenchie restaurant in Paris.   Meanwhile Onetto studied at none other than Le Cordon Bleu, therefore resulting in a pairing that would be a culinary force to be reckoned with.

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Ambrosia opened in its current spot in 2011, in a setting that looks pretty nondescript from the outside. There are no signs to signal the fact that this quiet residential street contains one of Latin America´s Top 50 restaurants (it sits at number 20 in the famous listing by San Pellegrino) or that Bazan herself is rated Chile´s number one chef.  The horde of cars parked on the street are the only giveaway of the classy restaurant housed behind the hedge, along with the twinkling lights that light up the corner of the visible terrace.

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Ambrosia is classed as a French restaurant, but the changing menu reflects more of Bazan´s travels, particularly to Italy as pasta dishes are a regular component. There is no static menu as the primary concept of Ambrosia is seasonality, with only the freshest in-season produce served. Meat and fish dishes are the main fare, though there is always a vegetarian option, and the wagyu beef is the particular plate that earnt Ambrosia its accolades from San Pellegrino.

There is an outside terrace, bar and two eating areas, one a little more modern than the other but all lend a hand to create the warm ¨at home¨ ambience Ambrosia strives for.

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Service is exceptional, with plates cleared and menus produced almost instantly.  The waiters seem to take great pride in their role, presenting themselves more as food guides than servers. Each dish was explained to us in detail, down to each lavish sauce and delicately placed herb.

The food is light with a big focus on presentation. Mains are priced at the higher end, while drinks, starters and desserts are consistent with other Santiago restaurants.  Each plate we tried contained a multitude of different sauces and colors that, when combined, worked really well.  The loco shellfish we ordered as a starter was our favorite, followed by the lamb main (cooked for 6 hours) and the white chocolate ganache.

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Locos with their juices, pesto, orange, lemon and white wine.
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Perfectly soft octopus with squid ink, lemon confit (so delicious),  and sauce made from olives.  All together this was really good.
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Pork with mustard seeds, sweet potato puree, brussel sprouts and baby carrots.
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Lamb (cooked for 6 hours) with lemon confit, cous cous and pea puree.
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White chocolate ganache with passionfruit and caramel sauce – combined together the flavors balanced well.
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Creme Brulee with orange
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Chocolate Mousse

Verdict: A perfect spot for a romantic night out, that has all the class and fine food you´d expect from a top restaurant while retaining the feel of a place a little more casual.  Food was quality, though portions were on the smaller side, and vegetarians are not going to be spoilt for choice.

*We originally tried to book the Bistro, as I was attracted to the casual concept of the small wine-bar that is Ambrosia´s sister restaurant. This place fills up fast so make your booking in advance.  Address: Nueva de Lyon 99, Providencia.

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The Nitty Gritty

Address: La Pamplona 78, Vitacura

Phone: 22217305

Email: contacto@ambrosia.cl

Website here

Instagram here

Facebook here

 

 

Silvestre Bistro: Wild Food

It is the morning after my lunch at Silvestre Bistro, and I am still excited. Everything wowed me at this tiny restaurant in Ñuñoa – from the eclectic vibe through to the passionate staff, a passion which is evident in the beautifully prepared dishes.

Located in Barrio Italia, right in the heart of Santiago´s ´healthy food´ neighborhood, lies this small restaurant that, from the outside, looks completely unassuming. However inside, it is a paradise of truly veg-tastic proportions. A produce-laden table greets us upon arrival, and the restaurant sprawls between a small inside eating area and a larger outside space which is elevated on wooden crates. The walls are covered in all manner of colorful paraphernalia, and we plop ourselves down on mismatched chairs beside an antique typewriter.  Despite it being a cold Autumn day in Santiago, we are pleasantly warm outside (there are heaters) and, also despite being in a city, we are watched over by a plethora of greenery.

 

There is no regular menu at Silvestre, only a changing daily menu that offers lunch specials and more elaborately plated evening meals. The prices are not expensive but what you get has a value much, much higher than your regular run of the mill food stop, for Silvestre is a place that is doing things a little differently.

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Silvestre in Spanish means wild, and this is a concept that lays at the heart of the Bistro (and what has got me so worked up). Each month food is foraged from around Chile, from the forests, beaches, hills – you name it – and the findings are what dictates the menu. The two masterminds at the head of this operation are Nestor Ayala, a self-taught cook known for developing a line of popular supermarket sausages, and Patricio Pichuante, a chef with 24 years of experience working in top restaurants in Italy. Together they are a magical combination, creating dishes that defy labels; the food is both complex and simple, using well-known and traditional ingredients in a way that highlights them but never overshadows them.

 

The day we visited, we opted for the Gnocci, the Tandoori Chicken and the Quiche, three of the four options (1 vegetarian that day).  Service was prompt, and we received a juice of lemon, orange and ginger that was refreshing; I enjoyed it because I found myself drinking it because I was thirsty not because it was pumping me full of sugar, and so it lasted the whole meal.

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Taking my notes thanks to this notebook from Apicola del Alba, a small Chilean business located in Curacavi that promotes sustainability and Chilean flora and fauna, and makes creams, shampoos, aromatherapy treatments and vitamin supplements.

The Gnocchi: In all honesty I don´t know the first thing about Italian cooking, but I really enjoyed this. That pesto though … que rico, rico, rico! I loved the unusual herbs on top (see below).

 

The Quiche: My son ate it all. The salad was delicious with a lovely dressing. What more can I say? The 3 year old approved!

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The Chicken:  This dish, to me, was one of the best I´ve had in a long time.  There were really unusual flavor combinations and the quinoa/brown rice/millet was absolutely gorgeous.

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Now for dessert.

There were two options that day and we opted for the carrot cake because I´m a bit of a fiend for carrot cake!  I didn´t think anything would top my sister in-law´s version but I have to say, this one was pretty up there!  The photo´s do not do it justice.

 

¨It has been hard to educate the producers not to throw things away that are a bit different, like manta ray or eel,¨ Nestor tells us, ¨and it is also hard to educate the people eating them.  We forage for everything, like the seaweed we go to the beach to get, or around places like San Javier or Zapallar, and we also have all these plants [gestures to the wall behind us] that we use.  We use fruit and vegetables that are in season, we buy locally and we use small providers.¨

 

The dinner menu is more elaborate, and Nestor shows us photos of plates with stunning presentation and lots of color.

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Verdict: If I am to give stars, this would be 5/5.  Everything about this place echoes what I believe in and what I love to eat. Best of all, my family all enjoyed it too!

 

Tip: Linger around the area of Barrio Italia because this is a neighborhood worth exploring. Right beside Silvestre is Padre Nuestro, where you can pop in to see a real artisan at work making shoes for men by hand and utilizing Chilean leather.  If you are visiting Santiago for the first time or even if you live here, this is the place to buy your gifts and souvenirs as they 1) small businesses and 2) they are often made right there!

 

The Nitty Gritty

Address:  Caupolicán 511, Ñuñoa. Metro Santa Isabel.

Phone:  91569974

Facebook here.

Instagram here.


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Vegan + Vegetarian food at La Fraternal

I Ching Chinese Restaurant

Rico Saigon Vietnamese Food

 

Lunch Review: Vegetarian + Vegan Food at La Fraternal

Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food

– Hippocrates

Hippocrates is famous as being the father of modern medicine, who believed in the time of Classical Greece that illness came as a result of poor diet, living conditions and environment. Today this type of thinking is in mode, with the idea of health through food popping up everywhere from our Instagram feed right through to the streets of Chile. La Fraternal is one of those restaurants pioneering cleaner eating, being a vegetarian/vegan/raw food restaurant in Ñuñoa that also sells health products as well as giving cooking and yoga classes.  The head chef, Alejandra Olmedo, aims to make this type of cooking easy and accessible for all, and her passion is obvious as you can see on her food blog.

The restaurant itself is uplifting, all wooden furniture, color with relaxing music, wafting incense, lots of light and a mishmash of designs.

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Our waitress was very warm and friendly, and the food was served in quick succession without any of that awkward waiting or trying to catch the server´s eye because you feel abandoned.

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La Fraternal serves up a colacion, or set menu, including on weekends, as well as a regular menu which contains an extensive drink selection with juices designed for various health purposes.  We went for a lemonade and a Jugo del Luz, which is a specialty of the establishment that contains vitamins and greens (recipe below).

As part of the menu for the Thursday of our visit, we had a starter; I chose a Vegetable Soup and Luis had a ¨Timbal de NO Atun¨, which was essentially a ceviche with lentils. Both were very good, the lentil ceviche was a standout and very clever. In typical Chilean style, we also received homemade bread.

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For the main, we had a burger patty made with mushroom above wild rice with a country stew and some added greens for good measure. This was very nice, though I did find the burger a bit bland.

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The dessert was delicious, cooked apple with chocolate mousse and oats – it was small but the chocolate was very rich and full, and I loved the combination of the three.

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Given La Fraternal´s attention to healthy drinks, we decided to also order a Carrot & Orange juice (which was so good!) as well as the India Milkshake. Visually, this drink was spectacular and the oat milk, cacao, banana and cardamom all worked well together.

Overall, I was happy with this discovery. Excellent service and food which, although sometimes bland, came at an excellent price and pace. This place works well if you are in the area and need something filling but budget-friendly and also healthy. I also personally am super excited by the effort being put in by the people of La Fraternal to revolutionize food and simplify a way of eating that appears so daunting to many. I will definitely be back.

More Information

Address: Av. Holanda 3362, Ñuñoa, Santiago.

Phone: 56 2 2921 7724

Website here.

La Fraternal Food blog here.

Facebook here.

Instagram here.

YouTube here.

Family friendly: Yes. There is a play area for children

Jimbo´s Australian Pie Shop in Santiago

Ask any self-respecting Antipodean what they miss from their home turf, and chances are high that the humble pie will feature on that list.

This hand-sized piece of goodness has been described as Australia´s national dish and is considered to be part of New Zealand´s national identity.  On average, Aussies eat 12 of them a year, and New Zealanders a whopping 15, more often than not while watching Australian Rules football or rugby league.  The pie is so popular that New Zealand even opened its own version of McDonalds, but instead of burgers they sold (you guessed it) pies!

So imagine the excitement across the expat community when Santiago´s first antipodean pie shop opened last year, Jimbo´s Australian Pie Shop. I will never forget that first bite I took of that Mince & Cheese because it took me back to my youth in New Zealand, standing under endless blue sky with wet hair and togs one hand, pie in the other, as I walked home from the pools. There were just no words to describe how good it was. Here I have a chat with its owner, James/Jimbo Martin, the Australian who brought pies to our Chilean tables.

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Hi Jimbo!  Tell us about yourself.

My name is Jamie Martin, I am from Brisbane Australia. I met my Chilean-born wife, Patricia, in Brisbane in 1999.  I have a background in construction in Australia. I completed 2 apprenticeships, plasterer and tiler, I had 2 trades at age 23. Bakeries are my families background on my mothers side stretching way back to my great grand father. Everyone male on that side of the family is/was a baker. As was my dear mum who is now retired, that’s until I need her help 🙂 I was working in bakeries owned by my uncles when I was very young for a few bob pocket money. That advanced over time to doing night shifts and learning a thing or two.

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What brought you to Chile?

I first visited Chile in 2000 and was here for 4 months. During that time I craved a traditional Australian meat pie so I began making a couple of dozen at one time in my mother in law’s kitchen. I gave many to friends and family but eventually they demanded that they pay me for them. It wasn’t my intention but before long I was swamped with orders. A bit of wondering, dreaming and light conversation ensued as to whether a pie shop would work. We then returned to Australia and resumed our jobs.

Why open a pie shop? How has it been received?

In 2013, Patricia’s mum required a double knee reconstruction and with no one to take care of her we decided to take a year off from our busy lives in Australia and take care of her. In no time at all I started thinking pie shop. Once Mama was back on her feet we set up a shop in Curico. We bought a property about 40km to the east, that was home for 2 years. We decided to move the business to Santiago in 2016. We are getting great feedback from the local people as well as expats. We have made many friends in our time here and hope to make many more, and we have no immediate plans to return to Australia though it is our intention to retire at home, the fishing is too good to turn our backs on 🙂

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If you had to pick a favorite, which pie would it be?

I go through phases, at the moment I go for the beef, chilli and cheese but I think a pie with mushy peas is my all time favorite.

Can you reveal to us your favorite places in Santiago and Chile?

Our favorite place in Chile is by far Elqui Valley, it’s like nothing I have seen anywhere. As for our favorite place in Santiago, it’s hard to say, there is so many quality restaurants, if I have to puck one it would be Casa Lastarria. I have never been able to find a fault.

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More Information:

Jimbo can prepare custom orders and will happily make what you are after.  He usually offers a vegan option each day, and can also make vegetarian pies. He also offers event catering as well as selling frozen party pies.  They also sell various pastries, such as lamingtons, cinnabuns, boston buns and more.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 11am-5pm; Saturday 11am-4pm
Address: Los Piñones 29, Providencia (closest metro Salvador)
And don´t forget to follow them on social media:
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Did you like this blog? Here are some other foodie posts to have a look at:

Foodlays Chinese Food

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Chinese Food Interesting Tidbits

Chinese food follows the basic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which uses food as a way to treat disease, recover from injury and improve overall general wellbeing. There are five flavors that form the basis of dishes, of which taste is considered the most important factor and the soul of the food.   These are: salty, sweet, spicy, sour and bitter. The most dominant flavor you taste in a dish depends on the region you are in, therefore each plate can reveal to you an area´s geography, history and geography.

Spice expels wind and cold from the body.  It is popular in Central and Southern China. notably Hunan and Sichuan cuisine.

Salty food should be eaten sparingly and is for dissolving ¨stagnation¨.  This food is popular in the North of China, because there is a lack of fresh vegetables in winter so food is preserved using salt.

Sweet flavors can improve your mood and health while also cutting through the greasiness of some dishes.  Dishes that are predominately sweet originate from the East of China.

The sour taste is popular in the South, and is a very important part of TCM. It helps with digestion, quenches thirst and can also reduce a dish´s greasiness or fish flavor. Sour foods are common in the South where people are generally poor, and who pickle most of their foods to avoid wastage.

Bitterness is a component in many dishes alongside other flavors.  It is used to make dishes seem fresher and to satiate your appetite.

The North of China produces a lot of wheat, and so the people eat things like dumplings, wheat noodles and steamed or stuffed buns.  In the South they rarely eat wheat and instead rely upon rice products, of which they use in every meal.

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The quantity of fruit and vegetables eaten in China is double that of the Western diet, and they use dozens of varieties that are unknown outside of China, including many types of weed-like plants that have not been translated into English.  Food is eaten seasonally, in order to balance one´s yin, yang, dryness or dampness (TCM components). Bones are an important element of dishes, so fish is usually not served filleted, while the appearance of a dish is often symbolic, using shapes, colors and textures to represent traditions, holidays and superstitions.

 

Traditionally, food is served to be shared, placed in the middle of the table, which in restaurants is usually a turntable to promote the communal nature of eating.

Enter Foodlays, a large restaurant located near to La Vega in Santiago.

 

In my opinion, the food at I Ching in Independencia had bigger portions and nicer food but a few dishes really stood out, particularly the Spicy Eggplant plate as well as most of the noodle dishes.

The Nitty Gritty:

Disabled/pushchair access in lifts

Customer carparking (ask the guard at the entrance)

Outdoor patio, which we used as a kids playground when we were there (we didn´t see any smokers)

Most vegetable dishes options contain meat so ask before you order if you are vegetarian. 

Address: Los Artesanos 681, 3rd floor, Recoleta. Metro Patronato or Cal y Canto.

 

Note: A glance at the Facebook page for this restaurant shows a few bad reviews due to the presence of shark fin soup. I did not see this option on the menu when I was there. This post has not been sponsored.

 

 


If you like this post, check out:

I Ching Chinese Restaurant

Rico Saigon Vietnamese Food

Lunch Review: Rico Saigon Cafe (updated)

I am standing in Mai´s kitchen, and she is laughing.  That is the thing about Mai – her smile and energy are infectious – which makes it pretty easy to forget the real reason why I have come: the food. But luckily this is a subject never far from Mai´s mind and she never disappoints.

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I am back at Rico Saigon because Mai wants me to try something traditional – something that is not on the menu – exactly how her grandmother prepares it.  The result is Fried Fish with Lemongrass, a dish that is visually stunning as are all Mai´s creations.

¨You will not find this sauce outside of Vietnam,¨ She tells me with pride, before instructing me just how to eat it. The fish is cooked to perfection and goes perfectly with the sauce (fish sauce mixed with egg and lemon) as well as the usual fresh vegetables that accompany Mai´s Vietnamese food.

¨We eat a lot of vegetables. We don´t cook them a lot, just a little, and we always use a sauce. In South Vietnam we like to eat sprouts and mint – a lot, a lot of mint!¨

Mai hails from Saigon in the South and tells me that the food in North Vietnam is very different and more closely resembles China.

¨We eat a lot of seafood and pork but never beef as it is too expensive – all our beef and milk is brought from New Zealand which is why we use coconut milk so much¨.

Staple ingredients include mint, ginger, garlic, spring onion, lemongrass, 5 star anise, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and, of course, the freshest vegetables.

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Mai´s husband tells me laughing, ¨She has been kicked out of La Vega [Santiago produce market] for digging around the food for the freshest! Some days she goes through 5 or 6 lettuce sellers to find the best – it´s very difficult to find the good stuff. You have to go early because by 9am all the good stuff is gone¨.

Now Mai has certain sellers that she frequents because their produce is the most reliable, and she loves the Peruvian stalls.

¨Their food is the best because they don´t use any chemicals  – they don´t want to pay for them – so it´s like organic. There is so much difference in flavor!¨

Sometimes this limits Mai as to what she can cook, and sometimes she finds something that she will find a way to incorporate in the day´s menu. It took her a while to find all the spices and some things, like the tea, she has to bring from Vietnam.

Mai has no formal training in the kitchen – all that you see she has learnt growing up or by experimenting.  The idea for the restaurant was inspired by the famous cafes of Saigon which Michael describes as, ¨so cool and unique.  Each one has a different motif – some have water like creeks running through and fountains, others might have a cat theme or a jungle … they are just quiet zones where you can go and have a coffee in an interesting spot¨.

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When Mai and Michael decided to make their own Saigon cafe they had a lot of ideas in mind. First they found the property – a derelict house that was devoid of plumbing, electricity and a kitchen. Mai then started buying plants and planting her own but found she couldn´t compete with the quality at La Vega. When a building site down the road began throwing out crates they scooped up as many as they could lay their hands on, eventually becoming the deck and tables you now see. Mai was originally planning a dessert cafe but her ideas quickly grew.

¨Mai was always cooking at home and people started telling us how phenomenal her food was – it wasn´t just me saying it¨  Michael says, ¨She began doing cooking lessons and then when we were putting the cafe together it was clear that Mai´s passion was in cooking these beautifully designed dishes¨.

And so Rico Saigon Cafe was born, and today it is a place with a cult following. Customers come for the food and stay for Mai´s vivacious personality.  It really is like being inside Mai and Michael´s home – which is exactly the feel that they want.  They host a lot of birthday parties and beam at the knowledge that people are having fun there.

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Mai is the sole cook and most days she is the waitress too.

¨I try my best – I don´t want to hire people and make it more expensive for people. It is homey, casual, really healthy food and we want to keep the place like this¨ Mai shrugs with a smile, and this is a recurring theme I keep hearing.

¨Tasty, fresh and healthy food¨ Michael describes Rico Saigon Cafe and Mai laughs,

¨That´s right – he´s in my mouth!¨

What To Try

  • Southern Pho Bo, made with sprouts unlike the Northern version of the soup
  • Bun Bo Hue Soup, beef soup with shrimp, tomatoes and rice noodles
  • Cha Gio Nem Ga, chicken and vegetable rolls
  • Cha Gio Nem Tom, rolls with shrimp and vegetables
  • Fried Fish with Lemongrass (not on the menu, available on request weekdays)

Special offer for all my readers: FREE Vietnamese tea with your meal when you say you read this blog!

Metro: Patronato

Pushchair/disabled Access: poor but possible!

Price: CLP$4.500 – CLP$6.500

Address: Santa Filomena 207, Recoleta

Phone: 09 8986 3369

Follow their active Facebook page here

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Similar foodie blogs to read:
* Chinese menu at I Ching Review,
* The best and ONLY place to eat real Indian Food,
* Vegetarian delights at Quinoa Vegetarian Restaurant, 
* Delicious fine pastries and cakes at Pasteleria Lalaleelu