Karun: Leading Change in Fashion

From the wild open spaces to the starry sky, the snug fields of green tucked between snow-capped mountains and the raw expanse of open ocean, Chile has got to be one of the world´s most beautiful specimens of Planet Earth.  It seems only fitting, then, that it is also a country taking the business model and embedding it with an environmental conscience (as we have seen with TTANTI and Apicola del Alba).  This next business is one that is setting a new benchmark in the fashion world by merging concepts of sustainability and responsibility with quality eyewear in a way that is quite simply revolutionary. Enter Karun World, sunglasses and glasses made ´from a different point of view´ which I am so excited to feature on my blog because I love the concept, all that they stand for and the sunglasses themselves which are effortlessly stylish and unique.  Here are some reasons why they should be on your radar too.

They symbolize a new vision

The philosophy governing Karun is that their products form symbols of a new way of being; a new way of thinking of ourselves and how we view the world around us. As founder Thomas Kimber says, ¨it´s clear the world needs a big change. I don´t pretend to change the world by making sunglasses, but prove that we are able to make the best products in a completely different way that respects the planet¨.  They follow a circular and regenerative model, aiming to prove that it is possible to manufacture products that are high in quality and that have a lower impact upon the environment than the usual extractive methods that define the norm. They also see themselves as much than just a company, in fact their Kickstarter page states ¨ Everything we do is a reflection of the dream of a great group of people sharing similar values and way of life. We are working as hard as we can to prove through example that we can change the way we interact with ourselves and our planet¨.

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Photo: Karun

They look to nature for inspiration

Karun is inspired by the wilds of Patagonia and means ´to be nature´ in Mapundungun, the common language spoken by the Mapuche indigenous people. This rugged landscape at the southern end of Chile is a place known for its beauty and raw energy, and this is channelled into the designs.  They don´t focus upon inventing new things, instead they look to nature to inspire them.

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Photo: Karun

They are revolutionizing eyewear

Karun is a Chilean business that is revolutionary. Their first collection (Wood) used fallen trees in Patagonia, carefully selecting them rather than cutting any down, to create unique eyewear that embraced the differences found in each specimen.  After this they teamed up Bureo, a company creating skateboards made from recycled fishing nets sourced from Chile, to make the first glasses in the world made from 100% recycled fishing nets using recycling programme Net Positiva.  Discarded fishing nets cause around 10% of plastic pollution in our oceans and cause major damage to sea ecosystems and marine creatures. Net Positiva was developed by Bureo and launched in Chile in 2014, where it collected some 3000kg of discarded fishing nets in just six months.  Net Positiva works across the USA and Chile to clean up coastlines, and are engaged with various non-profits that remove ocean pollution.

Now Karun bring you The Clothing Collection.  This collection highlights the issue of waste in the fashion industry, where items are mass produced and quickly discarded by consumers.  Jeans are some of the contaminating, with around 3 billion pairs produced annually, of which 80% then end up in landfills.  From there greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released which cause considerable damage to our soils and water.  The Clothing Collection is the world´s first eyewear made using recycled jeans, combining 75% recycled jeans and 25% bio-resin.  Karun have partnered with Balloon Latam, where a portion of sales from each pair of sunglasses goes towards entrepreneurs in the Llanquihue Lake region of Chile.  Balloon Latam works across Latin America to help develop local economies in a way that is respectful of each community´s identity, cultural conditions and productive possibilities. The designs in this collection are influenced by native Chilean birds such as the Chucao, which is native to the south and known for its emblematic sound, the red-breasted Loica (Long-Tailed Meadowlark) and the crested Kuru, or Magellanic Woodpecker.  Karun has been lauded everywhere, from Cosmopolitan to CNN and GQ.

 

Their eyewear is special

The materials are 100% Chilean and designed in Chile, and are put together using the finest technology in Italy.  The sunglasses use Zeiss official lenses which offer complete protection from UVA/UVB rays, and are available in either grey or amber, or as optical lenses. They contain German stainless steel spring hinges and have no added chemicals. The current collection come with a hardcase container made from jeans and fully recycled cardboard packaging.

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How You Can Get a Pair

Karun are currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, a global crowdfunding platform that got their other designs off the ground.  The campaign ends in late July, and the first 500 models will be completed by August.  In October all the models will have been completed to be delivered by November.

During the campaign, the glasses have a price of USD$149 which is 40% less than their actual retail price so get in there quick to take advantage!

 

 

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More Information

Website here

Facebook here 

Instagram here

Kickstarter campaign here


If you liked this, you might like to support one of these other amazing small businesses:

TTANTI watches made from fallen Patagonian trees;

Pajarito de Mimbre books & toys;

Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics.

 

A Snowy Santiago

We woke from our slumber to the sound of shrieks and squeals of delight piercing the usual quiet of the early morning. Outside our windows, children were jumping up with arms outstretched to catch the lightly falling snowflakes, touching down on hair that had never before felt its icy touch.  The dark sky looked as though it had been painted, shafts of pink and white blurring together to create something that was at times beautiful but at other times surreal and eerie.

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Photo: Yorka Abarca

The snow that fell in the wee hours of the 15th July was something of a rare occurrence. It certainly had not snowed in recent memory here in Recoleta. According to the website Weather, snow is ¨slightly more common than snow in Los Angeles.  The two cities are at similar latitudes, surrounded by mountains and bordered by water to the west¨.  As a result (in typical Santiago fashion given it also can´t cope with rain) the city nearly fell apart. A worker died trying to clear ice, others were injured by a fallen power line while – mindbogglingly – 337,000 were hit by power cuts, lasting for days in some areas.  My friend Yorka (with the mad photography skills) was at the Bahai Temple in Peñalolen, and reports that some 9,000 people showed up to enjoy the snow there … and destroyed the temple gardens and facilities in the process resulting in temple closure.

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Photo: Yorka Abarca

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Photo: Yorka Abarca

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10 Fun Things to do with Kids in Santiago

Having two children, we spend a lot of time going to places with their happiness in mind.  What follows is our list of the best places for youngsters in the city of Santiago, with top accolades going to the Museo Interactivo Mirador, a science and technology museum that will honestly blow your mind and take up most of your day. Chile is also very family friendly, and restaurants will not blink an eye if you pop by with children or babies (and some even have play areas, especially in areas like Ñuñoa and Las Condes).  Further afield, you could stop by:

The Alpaca Farm in Quintessence;

Aguas San Ramon for family-friendly hikes:

Santuario de la Naturaleza to immerse yourself in nature;

Snow fun at Farrellones;

river swimming at Rio Clarillo;

the beaches of Viña del Mar;

the animal farm at Lonquen;

or one of the various Mampato theme parks for little ones.

Selva Viva

There is no better introduction to the jungles of the world then Selva Viva. This is an indoor, living museum where you can hold parrots, snakes, even hermit crabs, whilst learning all about the world´s ecosystem.

Price:   Adults – CLP$9.950 per person / Children (3 – 17 years) and Senior Citizens – CLP$8.950 per person
Address: Av. Presidente Riesco 5330, (Metro Manquehue, inside Parque Araucano), Las Condes

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Museo Interactivo Mirador (MIM)

This interactive museum takes the fun side of science very seriously. It takes it so seriously,        in fact, that the whole family will be amused and entertained for hours – if not the whole    day!  Visit the website here.

Price:   Adults – CLP$3,900 per person / Children (3 – 17 years) and Senior Citizens – CLP$2,700 per person
Address: Av. Punta Arenas 6711, (Metro Estacion Mirador), La Granja

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Museo Aeronautico y del Espacio

Put simply, this is a stunning museum curated with love and maintained with care. This two-storey building is filled with replicas and models of aircraft in all their forms, and there is an outdoors area to explore where you can step inside a real plane.

Price: Free
Address: Avenida Pedro Aguirre Cerda Nº 5.000 (Ex camino Melipilla), Los Cerrillos

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Parque Bicentenario del Infancia

There´s toboggans, a caged maze, sandpit, swings, water fountains and tree huts to entertain your child, plus an amphitheatre for events.

Price: Free
Address: Avenida Peru 1001, Recoleta. Metro Cerro Blanco

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Fantasilandia 

The best theme park in Santiago, Fantasilandia provides entertainment for all ages. Also in Parque O´Higgins you can find a dinosaur museum and an aquarium.

Price: Adults CLP$11.990; Children and Senior Citizens CLP$5.990; Kids less than 90 cm in height enter for free
Address: Beaucheff, corner Tupper (Parque O’Higgins)

fun places to go with kids

Parque Quinta Normal

Choose from one of the museums or just wander this colossal, and historic, park. Museums on offer include the Museum of Natural History, the Science Museum, a railway museum (Ferroviario), and the Artequin children´s art museum.

Price: Free
Address: Metro Quinta Normal

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Buin Zoo

A zoo to rival the world´s best, Buin Zoo packs a huge punch that everyone will enjoy. There´s also a marine show (additional price) and a dinosaur park.

Price: Adults CLP$7.500; Children CLP$5.000; Senior Citizens CLP$4.000; Kids less than 90 cm in height enter for free
Address: Panamericana Sur KM 32, Buin.

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Santiago Planetarium

Chile is world famous for the quality of its night sky and its observatories rank as some of the best in the world. Learn as much as you can at this city planetarium located within University of Santiago (weekends only)

Price: Adults CLP$3.800; Children, Students and Senior Citizens CLP$3.000
Address: Av. L. Bernardo O’Higgins 3349, Estacion Central.  Metro Universidad de Santiago

 

Granjaventura

Give your kids a break from touring and instead take them to meet all manner of cute and furry critter at this farm located in the pre-cordillera.  There are also adventure activities to enjoy in the extensive grounds.

Price: Weekday CLP$4.500; Weekend and holidays CLP$4.900
Address: Av. Larrain 11.095, La Reina

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Cerro San Cristobal

From summer swimming pools, a hillside furnicular train, a zoo, Japanese Botanic Gardens, a dazzling-high cablecar (teleforico) and a city lookout, this gigantic hill dominating the Santiago skyline will provide for the whole family.

Price: Various entrance prices
Address: Pio Nono 450, Recoleta. Metro Baquedano

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I´d love to hear your recommendations and feedback!

Other blogs you might enjoy:

Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete

Museo Artquin & Ferroviario

Family Fun Day

TTANTI: Fine Watches Made in (and of) Chile

¨We believe that a watch should not only display a point of time as measured in hours and minutes; but should be a constant reminder that time is passing, that we must appreciate every moment that ticks by.¨

– Sarah Goldsmith, TTANTI

Over the years I have become really passionate about Chile.  Knowing its quirks, its people and flora and fauna, and giving my support to the #hechoenchile movement that is finding its stride with leaps and bounds recently. I also want to encourage the support of small businesses, often born of as much love and passion as hard work and stress to get a simple dream off the ground. I believe TTANTI, a small business that has appreciation for Chile at its heart as well as a focus upon sustainability, is the epitome of all these things, creating beautiful timepieces that represent not only the passing of time but a respect for life, and each one contains Patagonian materials. Wearing TTANTI, then, means you are keeping a small piece of Chile at your side throughout life´s moments.  Here is my interview with Sarah Goldsmith, an expat from the United States who is the Director of Communication and Sales for TTANTI.

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Who is TTANTI and how did the store begin?

TTANTI was founded in 2014, but really started to grow in 2016. Our team is lead by the founder, Angel Andraca. Angel is a native Chilean and wanted to combine his love of minimalist design with the spirit of Patagonia and the long tradition of Swiss watchmaking. Designer Rodrigo Bravo brought together the concept in a striking and harmonious way that gives respect to the traditions of Patagonia, while showcasing a modern aesthetic. Our Chilean team is rounded out by Sarah Goldsmith (me), Felipe Rioja, Carlos Bravo, and Mathilde Pfeiffer. Our European team includes Patrizia Vogl, Guillaume Vaslin and Steven Fantina.

 

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TTANTI is inspired by the raw and rugged beauty of Patagonia.  The watch featured is the Darwin Black, made with Aromo Criollo wood, a tree known for its beautiful flowers.            Photo: TTANTI

What is the motivation behind TTANTI?

TTANTI was born out of a respect for the noble materials of Patagonia and the spirit they encompass, as well as the centuries old tradition of Swiss watch making. Combined into one timepiece by the patient and passionate work of Swiss and Chilean craftsmen, we seek to transmit our beliefs to our customers. We believe that a watch should not only display a point of time as measured in hours and minutes; but should be a constant reminder that time is passing, that we must appreciate every moment that ticks by.

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Watch in Darwin White. Photo TTANTI

What makes a TTANTI watch unique?

TTANTI has its roots in a land where local traditions and foreign wanderers coexist, and our commitment to that land sets us apart. Protection of this land, responsible use of its materials and preservation for years to come is at the forefront of all we do. We use only previously fallen trees and are proudly certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for the responsible use of native forests. Our leather straps are cut from scrap material would otherwise go to the landfill. We package in recycled materials, maintain a wholly online/virtual workplace and strive to take any steps necessary to reduce our impact on the environment.
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The watches are all assembled in Santiago. Photo: TTANTI
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Photo: TTANTI

Who designs the watches and what are they inspired by?

Our designer Rodrigo Bravo seeks innovation through simplicity and functionality. He creates unique objects and solutions through a methodology that is born from the study and rescue of traditional carpentry techniques with the most advanced technologies. Rodrigo merged our inspiration with his detailed study and knowledge of functionality to create our strikingly and simple design.  Although typically worn by men, and designed with a man’s wrist in mind, they’re popular with men and women alike! I am a woman and wear a TTANTI every day. I love the elegant but relaxed look it brings to my outfits, and love the connection with Chile it brings me.

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The watches are suitable for men and women.  This watch is the Magallanes White.                    Photo: TTANTI
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Watch in Darwin White, the TTANTI bestseller!                                                        Photo: TTANTI

How are the watches made?

The process to create a TTANTI involves the combined efforts of dedicated and passionate craftsmen from Patagonia, Santiago and Switzerland. After our timepieces are painstakingly assembled in Switzerland to exact specifications, we bring them to our workshop in Santiago. We then hand assemble the watches with the laser cut and hand polished wooden rings and hand cut and sewn leather straps from Patagonia.

 

How should we care for a TTANTI timepiece?

Your TTANTI is a work of art, and should be treated as such. Our wood has been rigorously tested for durability, but should be treated with care – it is in fact an antique in the making. Just like your grandmother’s oak dining table will sustain scars and memories from life, so too will your TTANTI. This is the natural aging process of wood. Specific care instructions for your TTANTI can be found on our blog.

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The Chatwin White, made from Patagonian Oak, a tree which grows some 50m high.             Photo: TTANTI

What does TTANTI mean?

TTANTI means “seed” in the Kunza, a nearly extinct native language from the north of Chile. We want to plant an emotion that evokes the philosophy we deliver and in order to give tribute to the ancient cultures of our country.

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Magallanes with a Darwin strap.   You can request your strap combinations. Photo: TTANTI

How have the watches been received?

Reception has been really promising. We’re growing slowly but surely, and every sale is a celebration for our team! We all truly believe in what we’re doing and love seeing our work appreciated.

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Darwin White watch.  Photo: TTANTI

What is next for TTANTI?

We want to bring the wild, wonderful nature of Chile to our customers. We want to transmit the beliefs and traditions of our beautiful country, from north to south, to our customers. Eventually we would like to expand our product line to include trees and leathers from the other regions of Chile, though that might be a little further out.

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Magallanes White, made using Lenga wood made from the trees native to Andine and Patagonian forests.  Photo: TTANTI

Do you have a special offer for my amazing readers?

Yes! We are offering Querida Recoleta readers a 10% discount off of our products with the code queridarecoleta07

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More Information

Website here

Instagram here

Facebook here

The names behind the watches:

Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), also known as Hernando de Magallanes, was a Portuguese explorer who led the first European voyage to circumnavigate the globe,, while searching for the Spice Islands. He found the route through South America to the Pacific, known today as the Strait of Magellan (estrecho de magallanes).

Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who needs no introduction, traveled the globe on a scientific expedition aboard the Beagle. He explored Chile from Tierra del Fuego to Copiapo; controversially, he is believed to have used the indigenous people he met in Patagonia as an example of his theory of evolution.

Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989was a travel writer from England who wrote In Patagonia (1977), a book which revolutionized travel writing and drew the world´s gaze to the southernmost areas of Chile and Argentina.

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Photo: TTANTI

If you liked this, check out some other small businesses you can support:

Pajarito de Mimbre: Children´s Books + Toys

Padre Nuestro: Traditional Shoemaking

Local Business Directory

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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