Buenos Aires – Cerviche and Sushi in Palermo Hollywood
Palermo is one of my favourite barrios in Buenos Aires and is probably where I’d choose to live if I could (I wish). It’s also one of the biggest neighbourhoods and is subdivided into smaller areas as you can see on this map.
Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho (see separate post) together form what used to be called Palermo Viejo. The area is particularly known for its nightlife and many of the best bars and clubs are here, as well as lots of good cafes and restaurants.
The following places are in Palermo Hollywood, so called because of the number of TV and radio producers who moved here in the 90’s.
Osaka (Advanced A), Soler 5608. Tel. 4775 6964
I was very excited to come to this place as I’m a huge fan of Sushi and had heard a lot about Cerviche but had never tried it. Both are specialities of this restaurant which is reputed to be one of the best in Buenos Aires. Cerviche is an ancient food originating from Peru, where it was further refined by Japanese immigrants. I sat myself at the sushi bar where I could get a good view of the action and chat with the chefs.
Interestingly they use Japanese cutting and rolling techniques, and shout ‘sushi des’ when it’s ready but otherwise can’t speak a word of Japanese. I was here to treat myself and eat heartily and did so; obviously you could spend much less.
While looking at the menu, I had the house cocktail; Caipi Osaka (A) made with vodka, passion fruit juice and fresh strawberries with a sugar halo, yum!
For the first round, I had the Degustacion Cevi where you choose three different preparations from a list of six. I went for the Wasabi which was white fish, sea bass I think, in Leche de Tigre (marinade of key lime juice, fish and hot pepper), fresh wasabi (the traditional Japanese horseradish that is usually mixed with soya for dipping the sushi into), curly sweet potato and chulpi (sweet maize) popcorn.
Also the hot and sour Indo (salmon with chilli jam, mango, coconut milk, scallons, togarashi (Japanese chilli) and topped with crispy quinoa).
Next, Terimaki Temaki, a nori seaweed cone of fried langoustines, slices of salmon and lime, Philadelphia cheese and teriyaki sauce which was heaven in the mouth (A), especially when dipped in a little soya and wasabi.
Also a plate of Vietnamito, salmon with chilli jam, ajies (chilli pepper variety), fish sauce and grated coconut. This is made in Teradito style, a Japanese-Peruvian method of preparation similar to Cerviche and Carpaccio but without onions and using Japanese fish cutting methods. Sadly this was my least favourite as I didn’t like the sweetness (C). Lots of other Teradito on the list to try though.
After this the 2 Salmon Temaki, another cone of spicy salmon ‘tataki’ (seared with a gas torch) and avocado with ‘Osaka sauce’. Amazing again (A).
And Misoshiru (B) bean paste soup, which came in a square wide-lipped bowl. This offended my soup-drinking sensibilities as it needs to be in a small round bowl you can drink straight out of, so I sent it back to be changed. In Japan misoshiru is drunk instead of water at mealtimes.
I was told I would need to reserve a couple of days earlier (and before 6pm) but instead I was on the doorstep when they opened at 8 and got in that way. As it turned out, there were empty tables anyway so maybe the hype has subsided a bit. My total spend with tip, $630,just shy of £100, but I would happily spend this again, it was easily worth the money.
After this wonderful experience I went to Congo at Honduras 5329 (open Wed to Sat from 8pm to 4am or 6am) for a Passion Fruit Caiparinhia (A) in their garden bar, which according to Time Out is one of the best outdoor drinking spaces in the city. This was my last night in Buenos Aires and perhaps my best. Really hope I can go again soon, love this town!