I’m shamelessly going to promote two of the best countries in the world- Columbia and Venezuela… this time not for their nature, but their food in Chatswood. $7 for an arepa and fruit smoothie.
La Latina aims to present authentic South American flavours, with a menu of Venezuela and Colombian favourites including arepas and empanadas and sides including cassava chips and fried plantain. Wherever possible, La Latina uses local and organic ingredients, for maximum flavour and authenticity. Gluten-free options are available.
The little joint itself is on the way to Chatswood Chase on 82 Archer Street at the big intersection.
Ok, let’s face it. I miss Latina and South America so when I saw this on Groupon deal my jaw dropped. Where else would I get a papa relleno, plantains, yuca and empanada? No one else understands my words!!
The salsa music was in the background, the counter front of Colombian goodies. My Colombian family would be so proud of me right now.
I looked in the freezer section and they have yuca croquettes, rellenos de queso, ice blocks… Mmm! Yuca is a type of potato and rellenos de queso is cheese filled balls of potato and rice goodness.
Also loving the simplicity of chairs and seating.
Check out the bottled caps too and the salsa- yum! I miss little bottles of salsa at a dining table as a staple.
I love the pictures on the menu. I’m sorry this blog is about my past travel experiences but this one time I had a 12 hour wait in Venezuela and it’s not be best country to travel in because it’s pretty communist so the advice the police gave to me was: stay at the bus station where there were lots of people and protection. I sold arepas for a ridiculous 50 cents or something with this family and it was so much fun! Each person gets either beef, pork, chicken or whatever and put as much salsa and salad on top. It’s wonderful!
Here was their full menu and yeah, not as cheap as Venezuela!! I chose the shredded beef arepa but there was also chicken avocado on the menu which is not really what you’d see normally…
This experience was a little different of course but similar indeed. I think i waited for around 20 minutes? The lady there was by herself for the first ten but I guess it does take some time and there were a few customers. She made four at once in the hot plate.
In typical Venezuelan fashion, the arepa came out wrapped in aluminium foil and also in a paper bag because I asked for it to be taken away.
You could tell that the arepa was slow cooked and had this nice crunch on the tops and bottoms. Arepas are made from maise, which is a corn, and the shredded beef was not dry and you could see the stringy cheese melted in between.
They are quite dense and extremely filling.
For the drinks, it was so hard to choose between soursop, lulo and feijoa. I remember having soursop and lulo in Colombia because I remember going to this huge supermarket with Cec, my Colombian host mum, and raiding their produce section tot try everything I’d never seen before.
I opted for feijoa this time round, which was slightly sour but still delicious. From memory lulo is very sweet and the lady working there said they actually import the fruits from Colombia.
Because I went on a Tuesday (and this also applies on Wednesdays), i received a free small Colombian coffee. Surprisingly this tasted absolutely amazing. Great coffee and totally unexpected!
I used to work in Chatswood and had no idea this place existed! There are so many asian eateries but I’m wanting to come back for the tamales and empanadas!!
Review Rating : =D =) =| =(
Product ($7 Arepa, fruit juice and coffee): =D
Would I recommend the $7 deal with arepa, fruit juice and coffee to a friend? Yes yes yes! If you want to try food from Colombia and Venezuela, there aren’t many places that do so! There’s a place called ‘Boca’ near Messina but thats all I can think of. Do you guys know any?
Would I donate the money saved to my charity? I really can’t believe how much and how full I was after this meal. This is definitely my moneys worth. If you can’t make your way north of South America, I’ll give you $7 to try it.
Highlight: the hot arepa with its delicious fillings. Ok, I must admit, maise isn’t for everyone but when its cooked so that there is that crunch, it doesn’t matter. As you eat your way down you will probably notice that it gets a little soggy at the bottom as you do with burritos, etc. Have a go and see how it goes!
Suggestion of improvement: the wait was slightly long although there was only one person cooking and serving. I felt bad because I saw two other people wait for a long time and a family needing to rush off but didn’t have their coffees served. Once someone came I got a coffee straight away but the drink and arepa took some time. Maybe a little ‘could you please come back in 15 minutes’ or ‘it will be a 15-20 minute wait if thats ok’ would’ve been nice.
Ends: October 13, 2014
La Latina Website: http://https//www.facebook.com/LaLatina2012