Restaurant Review in Santiago: Peumayen
Every week, we have date night. We go out, try a restaurant and have a break from the “routine” of a normal week.
Since we are trying new places, I thought I would take the time to do a review of these places (in the event you find yourself in Chile and are looking for a tasty place to eat)!
Last night, we went to Peumayen, which means “Place of dreams” in Mapudungun. I read about this restaurant in an airline magazine and decided it looked interesting. We have eaten at restaurants in the city, but our selections revolved around sushi, Peruvian (delicious ceviche here!) and Indian. Peumayen is a Chilean restaurant focusing on ancestral recipes. The chef has brought in recipes from the Aymara, Rapa Nui and Mapachu cultures- creating diverse plates from various parts of Chile.
The restaurant itself is located in the Bellavista area. While this area has a reputation for being a bit dangerous, I didn’t really feel that. There has been a fairly recent influx of residents into the area with the construction of housing and has made the area safer. With the small buildings, multitude of outside seating and eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, the area has a charming appeal and certainly a nice break from the main parts of Santiago. When trying to locate it, keep your eye out as it has an unassuming entrance. There is no sign outside, just an open gate into an entranceway-this is it!
The restaurant itself, using a mix of stone and wood that seems to be a trend here in Chile, has a charming, tribal feel. It isn’t large, so reservations are necessary (although, if you are a foreigner traveling, go a little earlier if you don’t want a crowd…dinner here is usually eaten at 8 or later).
We started off with a bottle of wine (which, by the way, Chilean wine is amazing!)- a Pinot Noir called “One”. It had a really nice taste, I would definitely recommend it to any wine lovers our there
The house provides several dishes to give you a “taste” of the culture-transforming the establishment from simply a restaurant into more of an experience. You are first served with a type of cold tea with a spoonful of meat with flour, spices and a type of sauce (which tastes a lot like some of the sauces you can get with ceviche). After this, they bring a plate of different breads representing different parts of the country from the north to the south- which is fun, informative and actually quite tasty!
In between dishes, they bring flavored ice to clean your pallet-a nice touch (and really, the details that this restaurant focuses on are great)!
For appetizers, we had lamb tongue and Mollejas (gland taken from the throat of a cow). Miguel wasn’t so keen on ordering the lamb tongue at first-mostly at the thought of what he would be eating. However, I had eaten cow tongue in China and it had been quite nice, so I was confident that this at least wouldn’t be terrible! Both meats had a bit of a “gamey” taste (like when you eat Venison, Quail, rabbit, etc.). They were quite nice, although if you don’t have an adventurous palate, I may steer you away from these choices.
The main dish was both a success and a failure. We normally split dishes, so we ordered a white fish dish and a spiced rabbit soup with onion. The rabbit soup was amazing-enough spice to give it a really nice flavor, but not enough to ruin your meal. The rabbit meat was cooked on the bone and really delicious. The white fish dish was a bit of a fail. It wasn’t terrible, but compared to the other dishes, it just didn’t compare. I would likely stick to meat here rather than fish.
Well, we couldn’t decide on a dessert. Lucky for us, they offered a sampler platter with all of the desserts (YAY!). We ordered this and split it-most of the desserts were fantastic (although the fried plantain with lemon ice cream was my personal favorite).
Overall, this restaurant was a great experience. It is definitely a place that I would take visiting friends to, but not necessarily a restaurant that I would go to time and time again. If you visit Santiago though, check it out and you will be more than pleased!
The restaurant is located at Constitucion 136 in Bellavista. Their website is peumayenchile.cl.