The Garden of Eden

22 Jun, 2016 | Jerusa Pozo

Food

Photo: Jerusa Pozo

Jardín de Asia, in Zona Sur’s Calacoto neighbourhood, is the David Carradine of La Paz’s restaurant scene. And I mean the best of David Carradine: hot, with Asian inflections and an exotic elegance, rolled into a little bit of mystery. So, when people look for a high-end place to eat in La Paz, Jardín de Asia is often the fi rst place they think of. 

Maybe the Carradine comparison is a bit much, but Jardín de Asia has a unique atmosphere, serving dishes that are a fusion between Asian, Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. Jardín de Asia welcomes you immediately when you enter through its door – you feel you are in the ‘it’ place of La Paz: a chic atmosphere, waiters as welcoming as can be, the bar able to seduce a teetotaler and everybody having a great time.

As I take my seat at a table, my waiter asks me how my day was, and I respond by telling him I had been thinking about food the last three hours. When I ask for the latest addition to the menu, he responds ‘Good choice, miss.’ 

I spend the next several minutes observing the place, which surprises me with its expansive and elegant design. Suddenly my first dish is on the table: batayaki de mariscos, made with seafood, singani moscato and leche de tigre. It tastes delicious, and the waiter seems pleased by the look on my face.

My second dish is pato niquel, duck bathed in oyster and soy sauce. Again, it is great. I like what I’m eating. It might look small on the plate, but it certainly satisfi es. 

My third dish, vinagreta maracuyá, consisting of huacataya leaves and a spicy peanut sauce, is too spicy for me, and I ask for a glass of water. Despite the heat, I knew my accompanying maracuyá sour drink should not be wasted by extinguishing the flames in my mouth.

My fourth dish, smokey yellow tiradito,  consists of salmon, yellow chili and mote. What can I say? Jardín de Asia knows how to spoil you when you are looking for this kind of experience. For dessert, a maseta choco helada.

What can be better than a little flower pot made of chocolate with a sweet sauce inside of it?

The waiter asks me how my experience was, and I tell him it was the best I’ve had in a long time.

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