Thursday, 8 March 2018

Gustu Restaurant, La Paz, Bolivia

 La Paz, the highest capital city in the world that sits at an altitude of 3,650 meters (almost 12000 ft) is where you'll find Bolivia's best restaurant, Gustu, meaning flavour in Quechua language. The time we went it held the #14 spot in Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants what's more, ex-head chef and now advisor Kamilla Seidler was also crowned Latin America's Best Female Chef. Gustu is financed by Noma's co-owner Claus Meyer with the intention of revolutionizing Bolivia's culinary heritage.

We rode the Teleferico to Estacion Irpavi (green line) which is located only a short walk to Gustu Restaurant. Taking the Teleferico is cheap, easy and a great way to see amazing bird's eye views of La Paz.  We rode all three lines: red, yellow and green (colours of Bolivia's flag). If you don't have enough time and need to choose just one then the yellow line is absolutely the one I would recommend because it goes the highest and has the most interesting views.
(Update: they have added two more lines after my visit: blue and orange.)

 We didn't go for the tasting menu and instead went ala carte. They use only native  ingredients of highest quality to showcase Bolivia's many unique produce hence encouraging chefs to be creative and innovative. Bolivia may be South America's poorest and least visited country but unknown to many its biodiversity is among the greatest and unexplored in the world. 
I was pleasantly surprised by how exotic the flavours were. It was rustic, bold as well as filling. I must admit some dishes were better than others nevertheless it was far from dull. The staff who are students training in the restaurant were extremely welcoming and attentive like what you would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant.
This place is a long way away if you are coming from the centre of town. We took a radio-taxi ride back to our hotel.  It took around 30 minutes at night to get to the centre for a  relatively inexpensive fare. 

Beautiful decors bursting with colour filling the restaurant.

The students working through the open kitchen.

Mocochinchi and Spices

Hibiscus, Tumbo and Cinnamon

Amuse Bouche

Tofu spread sprinkled with quinoa and coca leaf butter. 
That tofu spread was so delicious and leaving me wanting more.

Garden Tomatoes with Rawfried Broccolini and Creamy Aged Cheese

Quinoa, Miso and Kombucha

Cured Trout with Pickled Achojcha and Frozen Dill Yoghurt

Poached Rabbit with Corn, Lime and Lemongrass
I love how this dish feels in my mouth. I love the different textures and the complexity of flavours. It's unlike anything I've ever eaten.

Beef Cheeks and Racacha

Braised Lamb with Sweet Potatoes and Coa

Amazonian Fish Stew with Yuca
Such rich natural flavours.

Milk Whey Sorbet with Black Lime and Smoked Egg Yolk

Chocolate Bizco Flan with Mint Ice Cream and Chocolate Ganache

Black Beer Meringue with Caramelized Seeds and Curled Cream

A little gift from Gustu for our celebrant from its Panaderia.
Ave Costanera 10, La Paz, Bolivia
591 (2) 2117491

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