New Horizon in Bellas Artes for Indian food and Kahue in Patronato for Turkish coffee and middle-eastern pastries.
Hits are self-explanatory. Misses are places I wouldn’t put at the top of my list. Adjectives describing hit and miss used at my discretion. Opinions are my own, and I paid for my meals.
MILD MISS: New Horizon, Indian Food. Merced 595 (closest metro: Bellas Artes).
Bellas Artes is contiguous to the touristy-but-quaint Lastarria district, and a stone’s throw from a park full of jugglers (mostly Sundays), a hill to climb (careful of the people making out, etc.), and a couple of museums.
I don’t hate New Horizon. It’s reasonably cheap (the special is 3500 CLP), plentiful, and a change from empanadas, sandwiches and salads, which are easy vegetarian finds in Chile. New Horizon serves meat and veggie meals, in compact storefront on Merced into which they have squeezed tables into some unlikely corners (looking at you under-the-stairs table). It’s also less than a third of the price of what you’d pay in most Indian restaurants in Santiago considering a main dish, chapati (which some Chileans insist on eating with a fork), rice (though theirs is long grain, not basmati) and curiously, a lettuce and tomato salad to start.
I have been there twice, and on both occasions, the veggie special was “vegetable jalfrezi,” a tomato paste-tasting veggie dish with copious amounts of peas. The first time I went, I had a cold, and thought, there must be more complexity to this dish, I just can’t taste it. But I went back to a second time, and… it still tasted mostly like slightly sweet spicy tomato paste with peas. But the place is packed every day, and people line up before it opens and all throughout the lunch hour.
I did some research, and it turns out that jalfrezi is one of Britain’s most favorite Indian takeaway dishes.So perhaps this jalfrezi is cooked with the British palate in mind, the same way that Chinese food morphs, depending on who it’s being prepared for. Someone British would have to go here and tell me if I’m holding this food to the wrong standard.
The food is filling and a little off-the-beaten menu (ha), at least for now. There is great gastronomical change afoot all over Santiago. Maybe this place will rise to the challenge.
HIT: Kahue, Middle Eastern Food in Patronato. Eusebio Lillo, 520, in Patronato (closest metro: Patronato).
I know why you are in Patronato. You’re out there looking for some new clothes, or some bling for the commercial shot you’re doing, or you’re looking for supplies for your next asian cooking feast (please invite me, spicy is ok). Anyway, those are some of the reasons I’d be there. I stopped into Kahue on a lark with a friend, seeing they had a coffee and pastry special.
Turkish coffee, served in an ornate (in that kind of look! hot glue gun! and beads! sort of way) copper, long-handled vessel to pour your coffee into your coffee cup. Turkish coffee, strong and thick (and don’t drink the last sip). Three bite-sized pastries, the phyllo-type ones neither cloying nor gummy, a real treat. The spongy almond ones good as well. Technically you get whatever they give you, but if you tell the waiter you’d like one pastry over another, they’ll usually hook you up. The food here smells amazing, but though I’ve been in a few times for coffee and pastry (less than 2,000 CLP), I have not yet tried the food. Not a super atmosphere, kind of cafeteria-feeling. You’ll probably be the only gringo, unless I’m there too.
Raison d’etre: I like food, like reviewing it, eat out a fair amount, photograph my food and drink shamelessly and often opine about what I like and don’t in the culinary ambit. And I sometimes get a little fed up with how much “happy-glad tourism writing” there is out there, so I decided to show both sides of the coin, and not just happy-glad my way around only places that have been hits for me. If you can figure out a way to go to only places that leave you satisfied and gleeful, please don’t share. I get the feeling the misses are going to be the most popular part.
a bit of bling shopping! love it.
And no mention of the toilet art?
Could you please include the nearest cross street with the restaurant’s address so I can picture in my mind where the joint is as opposed to having to look on map land? Thank you.
or google mapping it, you mean? I suppose I could do a cross street, but I thought maybe just the metro was enough, no? Thanks for commenting! And no, no toilet art mention, though that was famous elsewhere in the blog. How many times can you really mention such a thing?
I love New Horizons. However, as you commented on, it is very cheap for Indian food and nearly two years straight here may have made me desparate.
If you make it to/Next time you are in Punta Arenas I could recommend an awesome corner Arabic place with an Iraqi chef who makes some wonderful cardamon-laced coffee.
Girl, the closest metro to Eusebio Lillo St is actually Patronato station.
you are right! and corrected! But I always come in from the other side! Thanks for posting!
I liked New Horizons the times I went, but this was also several years ago, when the simple existence of Indian food was enough to qualify somewhere as a hit. I’m excited for this new series! Kind of can’t wait for the first total miss as I expect your commentary on it to be a great read.
I am still deciding which is the worst miss. There are alot of places that have at least one thing to recommend them, right? Like a very snooty café in Las Condes with just ok coffee, the worst possible service, sandwiches that look nothing like the website, BUT, a pretty outdoor seating area and an awesome chocolate bread (not pain au chocolate, an actual risen bread with chocolate in it). Oh wait, I just told the whole story. More coming. Also, meet up, Emily! Let’s go someplace truly awful. I mean…
I am excited about this new series! As a Brit and an Indian food fan, I’d recommend the Majestic as an accurate (if $$) representation of British Indian food – I think they even do jalfrezi. I second your opinion of New Horizon. Meh verging on bleh. I always went to the Peruvian sandwich place for a cheap spicy lunch round there.
See, and I’m leaning towards Rishtedar, which I don’t think was particularly popular when you were still here. It’s quite good, much more plentiful than Majestic, though I make a much better palak paneer.
Hi, I am coming to live in Chile next year and enjoying catching your blog. I liked “Lies Your Friends Tell You” and am starting to become a semi regular reader.
Good idea to do some research before you get here. I had done none though, and it all worked out, so I’m sure you’ll be fine! Also, my views are my own. A lot of foreigners would probably dispute much of what I say. Which I totally respect, but I stand firm, regardless.
Thanks for dropping by and becoming a “semi regular reader,” which seems fair, since of late I have been (at best) an occasional poster!
Love the honesty. I have been a bit tired of the “it’s all wonderful” themes in travel/place blogs as well. I shall enjoy the meals that were miserable failures the most.
As someone who has spent a lot of time in South America, it’s exciting to read about foods that don’t feature prominently in the Latin diet. I get tired of salads and empanadas and meat courses, too.
I wonder if you’ve got any Japanese food or Thai food there?
We have sushi coming out of our ears, but most of it nothing special. There are three places I like pretty well. At current count we have (wait a second… counting) eight Thai restaurants, five of which are new, and mostly related to the same owner, several spinoffs. But many of these culinary changes are really new, for a host of reasons, like increased restaurant culture, other globalism things happening. We even have a couple of pop-ups. I feel it’s safe to say that at the moment, Santiago has way more going on in innovative cuisine than I ever even dreamed when I moved here nine years ago!
do you have any raw or vegan places there?
raw, not that I am aware, vegan, yes. Soon I will review a place called the Vegan Bunker! It’s close to my house, and there are a few other places close to here as well. Nowhere near gourmet, but filling (unlike raw food, which always makes me want to go out for dinner!).