For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a carnivore. My dad blames my mom and grandmother, who fed me bistec sanguches before I could walk. That could explain my love for Lomo Saltado, or a bloody medium raw steak. Whatever the vehicle, I love to eat meat. So it’s pretty rare that I’ll venture into a vegetarian restaurant, but when I ate at Ubuntu, I had my gastronomical senses blown away. Never, in my wildest culinary dreams, did I imagine that fruits and vegetables could be so damn tasty and look so beautiful.
When I cook vegetables at home, they are usually prepared one of four ways: grilled or steamed for a side dish, washed for a salad, or sauted in a stir-fry. But there is always some protein to go along with that. My experience eating at Ubuntu — and I’ve been there three times — has blurred the distinction between food and art. Dish after dish, I was in awe at what the Chef had done with the ingredients. My favorite touch, was the colorful purees that dotted the plates, small pools of bright colors that disappeared way too quickly.
The colors only prepared you for the flavors in the dish — from soothing to spicy, and chilled to warm — each bite was a delicious surprise. Of course, since I decided to forgo meat for dinner, I had to make up for it by having coffee and chocolate for dessert. And just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get better, they had to bring out the chocolate mousse with fruit granita and edible flowers. Speechless. All I could do as I left the restaurant, was bow at the Chef in the open kitchen, and mouth a quiet “thank you!”