My sister in-law invited us along with my parents in-law to dinner in one of Buenos Aires’ trendy restaurants – Azema. She and her husband picked us up and we all piled into their car for the short drive to Palermo Viejo.
Our table was booked at 9 pm where we arrived to a restaurant just starting to fill up with diners – some locals and quite a few foreigners as well. We were seated in the center of the restaurant in a lovely, antique wooden oval table.
Azema’s cuisine is a mixture of French-Asian dishes inspired by chef Paul Jean Azema’s travels all over the Far East. Warm bread along with some spreads – a peanuty one and an aubergine-based one. We then ordered a few appetizers to share – samosas, spring rolls and fish fritters along with a bottle of Merlot. Each of the starters came with a sauce or dip – fruity for the samosas, soy sauce and chilies for the spring rolls and fish sauce for the fritters.
For our main courses we chose several dishes from the both the French and exotic menu items. The women all chose from the spicy dishes – confit de canard curry with pears for myself and my mother in-law and a spicy red curry of chicken for my sister in-law. The men, on the other hand, chose from the traditional side of the menu – rabbit for my father in-law, stuffed salmon for my husband and the salmon in a mushroom cream sauce for my brother in-law. The one that stood out was the chicken curry which captured the true exotic flavours of the east – spicy and sweet at the same time. The chef, who is a friend of my brother in-law, came by sometime during the meal to check on how everything was and greet the other diners.
We ordered a few desserts to share: the selection of exotic sorbet – lychee, passion fruit and raspberry, the passion fruit mousse and the molten chocolate cake with a berry sorbet. Short espressos from Lavazza finished off the meal along with a delectable plate of tiny petits fours – lemon tarts, madeleines and meringues.
Azema Exotic Bistro
Angel Carranza 1875
(between Costa Rica and El Salvador streets)
Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires
Tel: +54 11 4774 4191
Open for dinner, Mondays to Saturdays