Rafael

As I’ve stated before in other posts, one of the many great things about travelling to foreign countries with weak currencies is that you can have amazing meals at a fraction of what they would cost in the US or Europe.

In Bogotá Colombia one such meal was at Rafael, a Peruvian restaurant with Lima-inspired meat and fish dishes as well as pasta and desserts. The bill came in at little under $50/person, but that’s including cocktails, wine, coffees and digestives, so really without drinking this could have easily been an incredible $30 meal!

Of course we started with pisco sours for the table, quickly followed by maracuya and lulo juices for me (the designated driver) and Argentinian Malbec wine for my friends and co-workers.


And for food of course we started with two different ceviche appetizers (of which the traditional version ruled over the other warm type), some pulpo alla gallega and fish cakes (which the waiter brought two orders of without us having asked for that).

For my main course I had a fluffy white fish  (the menu was only in Spanish so I wasn’t sure of the name) prepared in a typical Peruvian way (although the bed of rice in a green sauce didn’t convince me, but the baby scallops made up for). 

Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of the main courses of my fellow diners but I can assure you the presentations were impeccable and the food was delicious according to everyone’s account (and I should mention that on this night two of my fellow diners were accomplished french chefs).

For dessert we ordered the typical Peruvian dessert called Sospiro, which came in an amazing spring-looking mousse/sauce over slices of the squishy-textured local guanabana fruit and a bed of dulche de leche emulsion. The second dessert are caramelized pears with a caramel praline slice and a vanilla-based fruity sauce. Both desserts came with small leaves of basil and berries.

Stay away from the coffee! Colombia has unfortunately never had good espresso (even though they produce great beans) but this place is definitely the proof of that. We ordered espressos and got what in Italy would have been a below par bad, bitter, way too watery and way too long coffee so we sent them back and asked for espresso ristretto and got the right amount of coffee but still way below par bad, bitter, watery coffee without the foam that comes from the right water pressure. Avoid coffee here at all costs if your standards are as high as mine for espresso.

Other than a couple of small hiccups with the service (like bringing two appetizers and charging us for it, charging us for a drink we didn’t order etc) this was a great meal at an affordable price that’s definitely worth a visit. 

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