“ Address: Borgoño 14890 / Viña del Mar 2540039 / Valparaíso / Chile „
This was not a restaurant we chose to eat at ourselves which is unusual and had we seen the prices we might have thought twice. We were on a private tour of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar from Santiago and our driver/guide took us here. I think if we had violently objected he would have taken us somewhere else. We often ask our guides for recommendations for places to eat local food and it seemed to us that the company would select a restaurant that did offer decent local food as it would be in their interest for us to be happy with their choice.
I wanted to visit Valparaiso since reading Isabel Allende's books, many of which are set in the city at least for part of the book. Viña del Mar was not really on my list of places to see but the trip offered both and so we booked it before leaving on our trip. The restaurant is actually in Viña del Mar which is a typical seaside town with not a lot scenically or of any real interest unless you are wanting a seaside holiday .
The restaurant is right on the seafront and so you do get a great view of the sea and the seafront looking across the road from the restaurant. It looks pretty big from the outside as it is on a corner and spreads on two sides of the corner. In truth it probably would not have attracted me as it looks fairly average from outside with large windows and a sort of awning over the top. I looks a bit like the extensions that are put up to cope with cooler weather in Europe and as it was quite cold maybe this was exactly what it was.
In warmer weather the plastic awning would be taken down and you might be sitting outside. I have to say I was quite pleased it was covered as it was cold and to be truthful it was not that much warmer inside initially.
The place was pretty busy and what I did like was that everyone except us was speaking Spanish. They may well have been tourists but they were Chilean tourists and all seemed to be enjoying their food. The fact that is was so busy may well have brought us in as a busy restaurant is usually a good one.
Our guide brought us right in to the r The guide/driver then left us in his capable hands and said he would meet us in an hour and a half by the car. As we were not driving we decided we would have a drink each. I had a Chilean white wine and my husband ordered a local beer. WE were given the menus ( luckily with English translations under the Spanish) which we perused while waiting for our drinks.
We had a look around to see what others were eating to see if anything looked especially tasty. When our waiter returned I had a few questions about the meals which he answered and we made our choices. WE both chose local fish and also ordered a salad to share as the fish didn't come with vegetables and I fancied something fresh.
We did have to wait some time for our food and during that time we had a good look around at some of the other food being served. Some were cooked at the table, some arrived in steaming covered pots and one particularly expensive dish was a huge platter of seafood almost BBQed at the table which was very exciting for the rest of us diners to watch.
When our food arrived it was nicely presented but not' Masterchef 'style so neat but not fussy. It was piping hot, apart from the huge plate of salad of course. My fish was delicious, beautifully cooked, no bones and so soft it almost melted in my mouth with a really tasty sauce. I was sorry when I had finished it. We shared the salad and ate tons but still didn't mange to finish it but we did make sure we got all the artichokes and avocados and all we left was lettuce.
We took our time and really enjoyed looking at the other diners while we were there. There were a few large families with young children through to grandparents and some children were obviously less thrilled with the idea of lunch out than their parent were.
Our waiter returned to ask us if we had enjoyed the food and when we had finished he asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu . We were both too full and knew we had a two hour drive back to Santiago so didn't want to be stuffed too full for that journey so we declined.
WE asked for the bill and when it arrived we paid by credit card as it was quite a lot. I believe it came to about £50 for the two of us which is a lot more than we would normally pay for a lunch out while away but it was pretty good . We did find Chile quite expensive generally so were not totally surprised with the bill. The credit card was done with a machine at the table which I was happy about as I don't like my card disappearing when I am abroad.
There were so many plants in the restaurant in hanging baskets climbing around dividers and on shelves and tables. Some were vegetables arranged on the tables. There were also streamers of Chilean flags across the ceiling so that the whole effect was one of clutter and a bit too much stuff in my view. The tables were laid with fresh lined cloths of a pale orange colour and the napkins were cloth too. The cutlery was nice and modern looking and all that table presentation was a bit lost in all the fussy planting.
I made my way to the toilet before we headed out and it was clean enough but far from luxurious. The waiting staff were rushing back and forth and I had to sort of dodge my way between them.
I am not sure whether to say I would recommend this place or not. It was a good meal but expensive but somehow the place didn't feel like you were eating in a smart restaurant. It felt like a family restaurant or cafe but the prices were those of an up market one. We enjoyed our meal but sort of resigned ourselves to having to pay a lot when we saw the menu so we decided we would enjoy the food and not worry about the cost and spoil the meal.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.