While traveling it is very common to miss things you are used to at home, particularly food. Whenever we have a chance to eat Indian food, we go for it… but unfortunately this hasn’t happened since Costa Rica, which was already more than a month and a half back!
We heard that there is a good Indian restaurant in Quito, and so we made our Sunday pilgrimage, just to arrive and find that the place was packed and there were people waiting in line for a table. We were so hungry that decided to leave the spiciness for later and I am glad we did so! Walking around the same area in La Mariscal we found Achiote, a restaurant offering original recipes of Ecuadorian food with a gourmet twist.
At Achiote I had one of the most eclectic meals I have ever had during our travels: chicken and avocado ceviche in passion fruit sauce, served with banana chips, fried corn and chocolate rice. This does sound like a mix of many different flavors, doesn’t it? And it sure was… I truly enjoyed savoring such a combination, but I must say that you need to be in one of those “I am eager to experiment” modes to enjoy this tangy-rich-sweet dish.
Ceviche is a very common preparation in coastal regions of Latin America, typically being made of seafood marinated in citric juices. At Achiote, they take ceviche to a whole new level: options include seafood, chicken, vegetables and you get to choose your marination, ranging from the traditional citrus juices to the passion fruit version that I went for.
Who would have thought that chicken and avocado swimming in passion fruit could taste so good? The fried corn and banana chips are a perfect compliment to the tangy feel, smoothing your mouth in between bites. And talking about smooth… let me tell you about that chocolate rice! What a delicious thing! You would have thought it tasted like desert and, therefore, could be odd with a mainly savory dish, but the truth is that although is has a strong aroma of chocolate, the flavor of this preparation is mildly sweet and has such a particularly appealing taste.
Whenever I have a great meal I, need desert!
If a restaurant is making you happy, why not let it make you happy all the way? And so we end this meal on a rainy day with a warm desert of Bunuelos (fried sweet dough) in guava sauce. So comforting!
Achiote’s menu is varied and takes an original approach to Ecuadorian cuisine – I wouldn’t dare to try the roasted guinea pig though. The decoration is simple but very pleasant and the service is extremely attentive. My favorite feature of this restaurant (apart from the great food, that is) would have to be the fact that its walls are glass and you can enjoy your food while watching the world outside.
This is the way to go: enjoy Ecuadorian flavors while watching Ecuadorians pass by and immerse yourself in a world where new things keep on coming your way!