Thursday, 14 November 2013

Aramburu


On few occasions in a lifetime, you have a meal that you rate as pivotal - for food, service and atmosphere. Last night at Aramburu was one of these, so let me share it with you.

To book a place at Aramburu, you need to plan well in advance, choose a mid-week evening, phone or call in one afternoon, and be lucky.

Aramburu is a special restaurant, currently rated on TripAdvisor as the second best in Buenos Aires, and in the top 50 restaurants in the world. It is tucked away at Salta 1050 -  only five blocks away from San Telmo, on the other side of Av 9 Julio, the widest road in Buenos Aires. Salta is a slightly dark and threatening street, but is in fact quite safe. The entrance to the restaurant is narrow, and at walking pace in the day, you would pass by un-noticing. The door, as for most restaurants in Buenos Aires is gated, with a small bell to the left side.

We were welcomed by Carolina, the sommelier. The restaurant caters for between 30-40 covers on three levels - a step down to the right, street level with two group tables to the left and straight ahead, the Chef's Table for two. Decor is dark and restrained, but the lighting is good, with white linen cloths and glinting glasses. The wall to the right of the Chef's Table is a chalk board, bearing recommendations and chef Aramburu's drawings.

We had booked the Chef's Table. This comprises a high glass surface directly against the two metre square window to the kitchen, providing the best culinary floor show imaginable. Behind, the kitchen is totally open, so from Chef's Table you are able to see each dish prepared and served by the five chefs headed by Aramburu himself.

The menu is set at twelve courses, paired if you choose the option, with six wines. Each course is a piece of theatre in minature, and each wine allows you to travel the length and breadth of Argentina.
Words fail to convey the taste, and pictures show only the shapes. But enough to provide an appetite to eat at Aramburu next time you visit Buenos Aires.