Closed doors and days of rest

I’ve spent the last few days mostly relaxing in Buenks Aires. I have a yoga class 5 minutes from my hostel which I’m loving and I’ve found enough hostel friends now that there’s always something interesting to do in the evening. Last night I caught up with some people from my last hostel for dinner and we ended up with Argentina’s version of the big raw food. At the time I was like “yay raw food, amazing!!!!” but on reflection what you’re looking at below is an overpriced plate of lettuce leaves with some almonds, sundried tomatoes and cashew cheese (£9!). I feel conned! It was average at best as it was mostly lettuce.

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The company was great though, we had a great time making jokes about the ridiculousness of the food then headed to what was essentially a huge pool hall that also had ping pong and table football. If you’re a Londoner think Bounce but without the ridiculously loud music, with space to move and about 5 times the chance of getting to play something (I am not a big fan of Bounce).

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I ordered a vodka lemonade and got a stupid amount of vodka! Enough for two people to have a double. We split this one obviously.

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Eventually I got hiccups (possibly from the huge measure of vodka) and had to go home. It was 2.30am but in Buenos Aires the party is only really getting started then!

A special mention to Casa Salt Shaker. This is what’s known as a “closed door restaurant” in Buenos Aires. Its the equivalent of the supper clubs popping up in London at the moment. Here they’ve been popular for more than a decade and they definitely know their stuff! The idea is that you turn up to someone’s with only a few details about the menu and not knowing your fellow guests, and the evening goes from there with your hosts coming great food. I was lucky to be with a great group of people: couples from Washington and Germany, a Swiss guy, an ex US military pilot and an Argentinian military pilot. They were all really interesting which is always a great start!

The food….. It was amazing! And there was plenty of it. First course was a polenta tostada thing with vegetables. It was great. Really crispy with some kind of magic pesto on it. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

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Next was a cold potato soup with lemon sorbet. If it sounds horrible suspend your disbelief because it was great. I’ve never tasted anything like it before. Somehow it just worked!

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The first main was risotto with mussels, prawns and something similar to chorizo. You can’t really go wrong with that.

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At this point I was starting to feel full. It was then that the steak came out. I somehow still managed to put away 2/3rds of it. It was perfectly cooked, our host Dan told us it was cooked in a plastic bag in water for 5 hours and marinated it in blue cheese dressing! It hurt to leave the last third but I wanted to save a small space for dessert.

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Dessert was some kind of cinnamon a cheese cake with apple butter. There was cheddar cheese in it which sounded strange but in the end I couldn’t taste the cheddar (so I’m assuming it somehow contributed to the overall flavour). It was very nice and I actually did manage to finish almost all of it.

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And here are some of my fellow diners.

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There were also paired wines with each course which worked really well and tea/coffee at the end. At around £45 this was my splurge for the trip but considering in London you can easily pay the same for much less food and no drinks I though it was excellent value. Definitely give it a go if you’re in the city.

Also worth mentioning, on the way there I walked past the Teatro Colon which is the Buenos Aires equivalent of the Albert Hall. They had a giant screen outside and I sat for a few minutes to watch a pretty amazing performance of something classical that I didn’t recognise.

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The screen is hiding behind the lower third of a giant xmas tree which they still haven’t finished taking down. I saw them taking it apart a few days ago and it really was gigantic.

Anyway, now I’m off to sleep. My new hostel has air conditioning which is like magic to me now its so hot here. Good night!

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