First off, a tour around a cemetery gives you a surprisingly generous appetite. Happily, nearby the corner of the graveyard stands the rather nice Recoleta Mall.
As you can see, there’s a McDonalds (not completely averse on occasion) but I took a walk around outside and inside first before settling on Pani, clearly a bread-based cafe that looked really quite nice.
A lot of effort had been made with the colourful interior design. There were tables for 2s and 4s and a communal table in the centre, which is a feature of many restaurants in South America that I really like, at least of those I’ve visited!
However, service. I’ve already said I’ve found service in Bs As restaurants a chore for everyone concerned. Here it was worse. I don’t think any service job is easy, don’t get me wrong, but come on… I did nearly leave after 20 minutes of kindly putting up my hand and asking if I could order.
A basket of bread was first up. Really interesting shapes and textures. At the bottom were some cheesy ball bread, which I’ve had in Gaucho in London, and they’re very nice. The cheese sticks were good too, but these interesting shapes on top were not cooked and had raw dough in them.
The dip was lovely, so that’s a plus point.
A gratuitous shot of the lovely interior.
Okay, one more.
Then the food arrived – a chicken sandwich which came unexpectedly, but with grunts of personal appreciation, with potatoes.
That bread was NOT adorable and fluffy, nor sourdough chewy and crunchy, not even sesame bun Irish burger-holder acceptable. It was damp, underbaked and clingy. Not a good burger bun and certainly not the brioche roll that had been promised. I’m cool if this is the local roll that everyone likes, but it wasn’t to my taste. However, the chicken inside was nice, so you win some…
Overall, not great at the bread part, which Pani suggests will be its modus operandi. Service was pretty poor. I wouldn’t be shaking out my budget on this one again.