Friday, April 21, 2006

Chinese Tapas, or Spanish Dim Sum

La Cabrera. Cabrera 5099 - Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Tel: 4831-7002
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.


Blogger realbuenosaires said...

La Cabrera a year ago was an awesome restaurant. Huge portions and cheap prices, you could happily share a serving of Lomo al perfume de tomillo. About 9 months ago, they increased prices by 30% and reduced portions by 40%. Hmmmm...still great food but not half what it used to be. The little onions in red wine are what still entice me back from time to time, despite the hole it leaves in my pocket.

El Trapiche is a far superior parilla and much better value. They cut your steak with a spoon, don't you know...

La Celeste is also a great place for a steak and an even better place for a Chivito canadiense.

buen provecho...

6:32 PM  
Blogger Rogger Mcloud said...

La Cabrera is one of the best places for eating meat. But there are some really good an cheaper places at the province of Buenos Aires. But you have to know. And you have to go by car. I have stayed in some Buenos Aires temporary rent apartments and I made some friends there. So I went to Long Champs, a place in the province, with them.

3:40 PM  

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