I finally went to a Pinoy Eats World event tonight. I couldn’t resist when Chef Namee Jorolan said that they were collaborating with two chefs – Chef Fernando Rivaroli and Chef Christina Sumae – from El Baqueano, currently ranked No. 18 Best Restaurant in Latin America and No. 39 in the World by the World’s Best Restaurant Awards jury.
Latin America is all the rage now with Peru being the darling of the international food press so I felt this pop up – though El Baqueano is in Buenos Aires and not the all-trendy Peru – was a must-attend. Plus, the Pope’s from there, so how can you not?! Hehe.
At first bite, it was easy to understand why El Baqueano is part of Latin America’s 50 Best.
First, the commitment to freshness. And you could really taste the freshness of what was served. Earlier today, PinoyEatsWorld posted this on Instagram:
Tulingan Escabeche with mango, pickled okra and shallots. The tulingan was salty like anchovies but this was balanced by the okra. Chef Him Uy de Baron, who apparently loved this course, teased the Denny Antonino, “The okra was brilliant. I’m going to copy this!”
Langoustine al Pil Pil. Pil Pil is a method of cooking known in the Basque region where you cook fish, usually cod, in olive oil or the oil in which the fish has been cooked. For this pop up, instead of fish, the chefs used langoustine and it was brilliant. They made a sauce using langoustine roe. Then as Pil Pil goes, they also cooked the langoustine in garlic and chillies. It was very spicy at first bite but by the third bite, you’re used to the spiciness. This was my favorite course for the night because it was just different; there is no dish quite like it in Filipino cuisine.
This one (next photo) immediately reminded me of sinigang … and true enough, that broth there is from sampaloc albeit Thai tamarind is what they used.
Another interesting tidbit on this dish. My lovely seatmate at the bar Teng Jorolan and I tried to figure out what those little yellow things were. “Ano itong matamis?” Pineapples? No. Melon? No. Sayote? No. It was watermelon rind! Never heard of watermelon rind being used before. We usually just throw them away!
Then of course, the aspiring Philippine national dish: adobo. This was a cuapao filled with pulled pork adobo.
And finally, paella. Teng joked, “Laureat ito eh, last yung rice.” True enough, carbs were in the end. This dish used orzo, though, and not rice. Finally, I loved the use of ten million ingredients in just one dish. Why have just a piano when you can have an orchestra, right?
This starter was both a beef and a fish dish, with Kitayama tenderloin that was cooked sous vide and seared, and then a tuna and salmon tartare. For flavor, they marinaded the tenderloin in calamansi. Then to accent the dish, avocado mousse and kaffir lime vinaigrette. And, oh wait, what is that punch? Wasabi? It was sambal mayo.
Now I know why El Baqueano is considered one of the best.
Thank you to Chef Fernando Rivaroli and Chef Christina Sumae for gracing us with your presence. Congratulations to Chef Demmu Antonino and Chef Namee Jorolan on this most delicious dinner!
Chile 495, Esquina Bolivar, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
+54 11 9 3671 8602
106 Esteban, Legazpi Village, Makati, Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines
+63 2 823 6206
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