Friday, October 22, 2010


JW suggested Sabor for dinner – he was craving latin American food. I was a bit wary – the last time we spoke about latin american food, the conversation involved his very graphic description of eating a spatchcocked guinea pig. It made me think of the two guinea pigs i briefly owned when I was a trainee. I was convinced they were gay – perhaps it was just a matter of guinea pig grooming behaviour, but it sometimes looked a lot dodgier than purely a practice of guinea pig hygiene.

Sabor, thankfully didn’t serve spatchcocked guinea pig. They did however, have a range of food spanning a number of south American countries. They have Ceviche.

I love ceviche. I love raw fish. LOVE IT. I ordered sea bream ceviche which had a abundantly citrusy dressing and a little mound of cress which i ignored. Don’t get in the way of my fish. We tried also the cod ceviche which had a chilli lime marinade and came with toasted corn. A trio of empanadas accompanied with a jalapeno and tomato relish was delicious – lightly crisp on the outside yet meltingly dense inside. We had hoped to try their home made chorizo, but they had run out alas.

I ordered the Pargo Rojo con Gallo Pino, pan-fried fillet of red snapper with a cocoa chilli coating with red beans and a tomato sauce. We also tried the Rabo Encendido, Cuban slow braised oxtail in malbec served with garlic mash and a huge plantain chip, the Aji de Gallina, a Peruvian dish of chicken breast with a golden saffron mash and aji Amarillo sauce. The sauce is spicy, but doesn’t immediately strike you as such – the heat stealthily rises from the back of your tongue catching you unawares, but in a most pleasantly warming way. The Conejo en Salsa de Chocolate, a unctuous slow cooked rabit in a spicy chocolate sauce with potatoes in tumeric cheese sauce – spicily chocolatey in that gorgeous Peruvian way. And yucca fries – we liked them so much we had two servings.
We shared a bottle Ribera (2006 Ribera del Duero, Arrocal, Spain) which was smooth and fruity. It was described as having chocolate hints, but not a flavour i readily picked up. Extremely quaffable in any case.

JW said to save space for puddings, because they did them well here. He’s usually not wrong about food. Alfajores con Helado de Café, Peruvian/Argentinian biscuits served with coffee ice-cream and dulce de leche sauce. It was everything i thought it’d be – comfortingly sweet, but not sickeningly so. The coffee ice-cream, made with their own house blend of coffee, was possibly the best coffee ice-cream i’ve had. We tried also the Dulce de Leche brulee, and passionfruit cheesecake. Dulce de Leche makes everything taste good.

Sabor is lovely – a little bit of a trek up Essex Road, but definitely worth the trek. And for those that can’t make it to the inca trail, this place brings a little bit of gaily authentic latin American with a slightly modern twist to us in the grey of London.

108 Essex Road
London N1 8LX


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