Saturday, 4 February 2012

A damn good Bandeja Paisa @ Restaurante Santafereno

I really cannot believe I have not put fingers to keyboard and bored you all to death about this wonderful place in the all new foodie heaven that is called Brixton Village.
Maybe I just didn’t want to let you know how good the food is there, so you wouldn’t go and make it more difficult for me to get a table when we do our quarterly Colombian blow out.
But let’s be realistic here though, Colombian food is not the best in the world, it is not the most refined either. On the other hand it is big, bold and full of homeliness.
There are several dishes that depending on where you live are considered to be the national dish of Colombia.
Rolos or Bogotanos, those folk from the Capital consider Ajiaco as the number one national dish. But what do they know.
Now Paisas or Antioquenos, those happy chubby folk form Medellin and the coffee zone of Colombia know that the Bandeja Paisa is the National Dish of Colombia.
As you can see I am slightly biased, well married to a Paisa, whose only contact with other Colombians are Paisas, and having visited there on numerous occasions and lived in Paisalandia for a while. Yes I’ve been brain washed. The same as little Adele got me into thinking that all that is good in this world is made by Apple.
The good thing about Colombian food is that it can be transported all over the world, unlike Mexican food, which seems to loose everything the moment it sets foot out of the motherland.
The reason for this is that a lot of food that is cooked in Colombia, whether it be in the home or in a home style restaurant, they all use a secret ingredient. Triguisar.
This powdered spice mix is prevalent in a lot of Colombian dishes, so much so that a lot of them all do taste the same.
This is why the food in Santafereno tastes so much like it does in Colombia. It certainly has that authentic taste to it. The restaurant is also full of Colombians, who like in every other Colombian restaurant, bar or café in London long for that taste of home.
As I was saying the food in Colombia is not Michelin starred quality and never will be. They are hardy mountain folk who prefer size over quality.
There is an expression in Colombia, “Bueno, Bonito y Barrato”. Literally meaning good, beautiful and cheap. Sums it all up.
The Bandeja Paisa in Restaurante Santafereno has all the likely culprits you would expect. Chorizo sausage, slow cooked beans, fried platano, steak or normally minced meat, rice, small arepas and chicharron.
It’s a plate not for the faint hearted, but somehow between the two of us we manage to eat the lot. Well mainly me really.
I love eating at Santafereno but not on a regular basis, otherwise I would end up like your typical large bellied paisa. 

Restaurante Santafereno on Urbanspoon


The Perfect Trough said...

Interesting post - have never known much about Colombian feed. Would have guessed it was similar to Brazilian - beans, stews etc... but perhaps not!

Mzungu said...

TPT - They certainly have enough beans to last a lifetime.
But the best thing Colombia has it its soups. An amazing array of variety depending on which region you are in.

Anonymous said...

I’m a good paisa and a good listener, Satanfereno in next on the list (of Colombian restaurants). Will let you know how it goes. Mel

Su-Lin said...

This just might get me down to Brixton...

Mzungu said...

Su-Lin - This is definitely one place to try that not many people do.

Anonymous said...

There is a new Colombian restaurant in London called Sabor, 2 Tooting Bec Road, London SW17 8BD, . Its the best Colombian food in London and much cleaner then the other Colombian restaurants.