We had not been to Dos Sucres for probably over a year. I am not sure why we had allowed so much time to lapse since we had enjoyed their contemporary take on traditional Ecuadoran foods, but last week we decided it was high time we renewed our acquaintance with this fine restaurant. I am glad we did because we had a great lunch.
Our lunch started off with a pair of appetizers. M. ordered Huerto Viejo, a salad of roasted and marinated root vegetables served on a bed of shredded beets with dabs of coconut, which she very much enjoyed.
My appetizer, the Muchín de Haba, was a ball of ground habas filled with creamy cheeses. It served on shredded cabbage with sour cream. The dish was quite tasty, but the presentation is what stood out. The dish was presented in a saucer with a small flower pot inverted over it. The pot was filled with wood smoke which was released as the pot was lifted to reveal the appetizer. Besides creating a dramatic and entertaining presentation, the wood smoke penetrated the haba bolon and gave it a flavor that was smoky and earthy. Both appetizers were good, but the Muchín de Haba was a real knockout. Our meal was off to a fine start.
The menu said M.’s boneless pork rib was cooked at low temperature, which presumably means sous vide. That would explain how they produced such a juicy, tender and cooked-to-perfection piece of meat. The flavor was enhanced by the strip of bacon wrapped around the edge. Covering the whole thing with a delicious mushroom sauce.
I was feeling a little adventurous and so ordered the Gallina Cuyada which, if my Spanish is reliable, means something like chicken in the style of cuy, or guinea pig. The chicken was tender and juicy, but the real standout was the brown sauce. It had an intense, rich flavor that was complex, salty and smoky. If cuy tastes anything like this, I have really been missing out all these years by not trying it.
For drinks, we both ordered a beer, which seems like it’s becoming a trend with us. M. selected a Nordica white beer, which was very smooth; a lightly flavored and easygoing sort of beer. The house-made red beer (cerveza roja) that I had was a bit more full bodied and hoppy and very enjoyable. If you appreciate good beer, I recommend you consider trying this one. Both beers paired well with our choices for the main course.
Sampling the desserts was absolutely necessary in order to prepare a complete and well rounded blog post. As you can see, no effort is too great for our dear readers!
I thought the cheesecake with tree tomato jam topping was delicious. The jam added an extra layer of sweetness on the top. I have to admit that I did not get a distinct flavor of tree tomato from the jam, although that could have been due to the intense flavors of my first two courses. M was quite taken with the fig mousse (Madre Tierra), which had a delightful flavor and intriguing texture which included pieces of crunchy amaranth pralines. Our desserts were a suitably sweet ending for a lunch that we enjoyed immensely.
There was really not much to criticize about our experience at Dos Sucres. At the risk so sounding like I am quibbling, I would say that the food presentation was not always consistent. For example, spotting jam on top of dabs of creme cheese for the fig mousse gave the impression it was looking back at you. This was an unfortunate effect for such a good dessert. I also thought they overdid the garnishes for the Gallina Cuyada a little, but I am starting to get into the weeds a little at this point. (No pun intended!)
These quibbles about presentation (and they are quibbling) were counterbalanced by M.’s root vegetable appetizer, which was very prettily arranged and I already mentioned the fun and dramatic presentation of the Muchín de Haba. In fairness, I should also point out the Gallina Cuyada came with a poached egg, which greatly elevates almost any dish, in my humble opinion.
In summary, our lunch at Dos Sucres was delicious and entirely enjoyable. I recommend you go there, which is exactly what we are going to do again in about a week or so when they plan to update their menu. This is a great excuse to go back again and we will certainly take advantage of it.