Contemporary Argentinian Cuisine
The Buenos Aires restaurant scene has evolved rapidly over the last couple of years, with many local chefs challenging local palates with inspirations from their culinary travels and adventures.
While the traditional steak and heavily Italian-influenced diet remains a dominant force, alternative options are gaining traction, with burgeoning vegetarian, organic, slow and raw food movements. The following are all notable additions in the last year, each in their own way helping to reshape and redefine Buenos Aires cuisine in 2015.
Yeite is Pame Villar’s first solo venture. Villar is widely regarded as Buenos Aires’ number one pastry chef. This cosy brasserie is located in the Villa Crespo area, an up and coming part of the city, next door to JT, revered local designer Jessica Trosman’s beautiful warehouse boutique.
Food at Yeite is heavily inspired by the Middle East, with ingredients such as sumac making a welcome appearance. Lunchtime salad offerings are colourful and displayed on the wooden counter, with the small sharing dishes as the main strength, and roasted beets, broken roasted potatoes and zucchini fritters as reliable mainstays. Don’t pass up the molten chocolate pudding to end on a decadent sweet note.
Located on a secluded street in the smart residential area of Nunez, Oporto Almac is the very essence of understated- a world away from Palermo’s oversaturated dining scene.
In little over a year, this chic eatery has gained a solid reputation for serving superior modern Argentine cuisine and serving a wide variety of Argentine wines by the glass. Designed by Horacio Gallo, one of Buenos Aires’s leading interior designers, Oporto’s white tiled walls and wall mounted lights contrast perfectly with the wooden and metal accents, and a rooftop terrace ideal for al fresco dining in the summer months. The menu is French and Spanish orientated yet experimental, with a classic duck magret served with a squash mash and sweet cumin infused soft meringue. The restaurant also boasts an upscale deli.
This neighbourhood corner cafe is regarded by many locals and expats alike as being the saviour when it comes to providing wholesome and imaginative lunchtime options that won’t break the bank. Run by a young group of chefs, the salient detail is the emphasis on home cooked produce, from medialunas and baked bread, to their own pickled vegetables.
Dishes are served on stylish pottery, also available to buy. Stella sandwich options include zucchini almonds, broccoli and goats cheese, and the blue cheese option which is imaginatively pared with pecan, apple and pear.
After culinary adventures in Asia, this British Argentine couple made the bold move to return to Buenos Aires and attempt to fill the hole in the local restaurant scene. By setting up an eatery that serves affordable and punchy flavours based on Asian and Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine, chef Mariano’s South American roots still caters to local tastes.
The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, and their sharing dishes makes it ideal to go go as a group and sample one of everything. The menu is concise yet changes regularly, according to seasonal produce and ingredients available. The fried swiss chard pakoras are the unmissable house speciality, served with a sweet carrot chutney, sriracha and yogurt raita.
Images by Allie Lazar