Chinese Tapas, or Spanish Dim Sum
La Cabrera Norte. Cabrera 5127 - Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Tel: 4832-5754
When I find myself in one of those tiresome conversations about “favorite ethnic cuisines,” I invariably mention Korean food. My reasons are several: I am usually the last to opine in these exchanges and chances are good that someone has already said “Mexican” or “Vietnamese” or “Thai” or whatever; kimchi is delicious; and, most importantly, even if I can’t tell you what they contain, I love all those little dishes that accompany your order in a Korean restaurant.
A friend of my, when pressed to describe a tapas bar, described it as “Spanish Dim Sum.”
In the same way, La Cabrera and its annex, La Cabrera Norte, can be described as parrillas argentino-coreanas, because your grilled meat comes with an array of bowls containing all sorts of goodies: applesauce, roasted garlic in balsamic vinegar, grilled eggplants, mushrooms in a Malbec sauce, green olive tapanade, and a few other things I can’t recall.
A few months ago, I ate at La Cabrera with my “Spanish Dim Sum” friend, who, not surprisingly, also enjoyed the little dishes. Despite a religious prohibition on beef, we ate extremely well: a provoleta (a grilled wheel of cheese), bondiola de cerdo (pork loin) and pamplona de pollo (stuffed chicken breast).
The other night, I went to eat with my folks and a friend, and were sent to the nearby La Cabrera Norte because the corner restaurant was full. Though the interior of the annex is a little less elegant, the service is just as good and the menu is identical. We split a caprese salad, a chorizo, a brochette de lomo and an ojo de bife (a boneless ribeye). With this we had a few bottles of Lurton Malbec Reserva. Dessert was dulce de batata (sweet potato) and cheese and a “chocolate volcano.” Complimentary glasses of champagne accompanied them, as well as a glass of a dessert wine made with Bonarda.
I am currently inventing pretexts for an imminent return.