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Flavors of Aysén

 Estimated reading time: 2 min. Texts Photos Karina Jozami Texts Photos Karina Jozami
Gastronomic tour at Coyhaique and Aysén

Seafruit and old Patagonian recipes find excellent versions to make themselves known and tasted at some of the restaurants in this region.

Aysén is one of those regions that seem to preserve most of their sceneries still to be discovered. Its almost unexplored beauty may be guessed from the southern road that crosses the entire Chilean Patagonia. You have to enter and dare to discover it by dint of traveling kilometers and seeing its cities, as well as experiencing its gastronomic customs, which are characterized by the asado cooked on the stick and the fish and seafood obtained from the maritime littoral.

In our tour across this wild geography, we visited two places that honor the Chilean cuisine. Excellent versions of traditional menues with salmon and sea fruit and very elaborate dishes from the Patagonian tables evidence the neat proposal made by these restaurants which can certainly combine both quality and service.

El reloj (The Clock)

In 1991, Ángel and Adriana opened this small and exquisite restaurant in the City of Coyhaique, where the first sawmill in the area would work back in the 1960s. Its name is also reminiscent of the regional history, as the clock located in the entrance was brought by the English colonists in 1900.
Gastronomic tour at Coyhaique and Aysén
The passion for cooking comes from Adriana, who has great experience at the emblematic Carreras Hotel. Nowadays, at the head of her own restaurant and having been awarded several prizes in regional gastronomy, Adriana shares the comand of the kitchen with young chef Glenda.
The proposal is to rescue the regional products and resort to traditional recipes using international gourmet cooking techniques.

It was obvious that we would taste all the awarded dishes. As an appetizer: the poem of the salmon and the crayfish, a cream soup with pieces of crayfish wrapped in fine sheets of salmon. We were also tempted by the hare carpaccio. As main dishes, in addition to the leg of lamb, we also tasted a salmon from Aysen with pujes sauce. We made a toast with a Casas del Toqui sauvignon blanc, which is part of the wine list along with the Ventisquero, Laura Hartwig and Morandé vineyards, and some emerging wineries which are exclusive from this restaurant.
For dessert, we tasted a little bit of everything displayed on the petit table of sweet dishes prepared by Claudia, Glenda's assistant.

Undoubtedly, the El Reloj cuisine responds to the new cannons that rescue the Chilean culinary renewed identity with some very good sophistication touches.
Gastronomic tour at Coyhaique and Aysén
El Muelle de Bob

The rainy cold night becomes a pleasant warm evening at El Muelle.
Robert Golasky, or el gringo (foreigner) Bob, like his local friends call him, has lived in Puerto Aysén since 2004. In love with the region, Bob has decided to open his restaurant as a traditional corner, very close to the Aguas Muertas pier, which he tore down and re-built in style.

Rosita, an authentic Chilean master is at the head of the kitchen. Along with Bob, who is in charge of carefully selecting the products and acquiring the various spices brought from his native America, she refines her handmade touch thus managing excellent Chilean dishes. First, we tasted a spider crab cocktail and then I accepted the recommendation of tasting the chupé de jaiba: simply delicious. We accompanied dinner with a Ventisquero cabernet and, for dessert, we could not refuse the picarones, a kind of small fried doughnut made with pumpkin and covered in brown sugar, cinnamon and orange syrup.
Gastronomic tour at Coyhaique and Aysén
We would have liked to return to El Muelle in order to enjoy a happy hour at sunset -which according to Bob, they are unforgettable-, and also to taste some vegetarian proposal made by the menu, although I would have definitely ordered chupé again.
Useful Data
El Reloj: open from Mondays thru Saturdays since 9pm. Private parking. Average price per person, including beverages: $ 12.000 (Chilean pesos).
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The Viewpoint

“Dishes must not lose a certain rustic quality typical of this fantastic region. We want our customers to feel that, even if they order an international cuisine dish, they are in Chile and the touch, that special taste they can perceive, is very much Chilean.”
chef at El Reloj

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