What a fitting name for this Korean restaurant. Every dish is based on chicken, except for sides of salad or fries. The short of it is the following: very efficient, friendly service with fresh food in strikingly clean, beautifully wood-paneled dining rooms with loads of daylight sweeping in. It’s a delightful place to sit in right in the middle of Patronato on Antonia Lopez de Bello. The downside is that the food is just okay. Not bad, not great. But to be fair, we only tried the standard lunch dish. It includes thin, pounded chicken breast dusted and baked in panko bread crumbs with zero additional seasoning. It’s served with plain white rice, boring and mealy french fries and a small tossed salad with a sesame-Dijon type dressing easily improved upon at home. The chicken is topped with a dollop of mushroom sweet and sour sauce. This particular meal came HIGHLY recommended by some friends. A lot of Chileans aren’t too familiar with the variety of Asian foods out there, so depending upon your palette, you may really love this place. Everything else on the menu is served family style for 2 or 3 people per dish and appears to be much more spiced. They also serve fresh yellow, red or green pepper, spinach, banana, apple, carrot and beet juices or lemonade. I could go back and try the other plates, or head over to a neighboring Korean BBQ joint instead, if only to escape the K-pop pouring out of the speakers and on constant display on the giant TV. They have birthday party packages available and I’d venture to guess they would get it done right. The establishment is definitely one of the more professionally run places I’ve come across in Santiago. Did I mention the restrooms sparkle?
If you live in Santiago or really, anywhere in Chile and you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, this one is great to do from home. The Biblioteca Central Para Ciegos needs books recorded in Spanish. They have a library full of texts from fiction to nearly any topic in non-fiction, mostly in Spanish, but some other languages, too. The idea is that you pick up a book, record it at home to a CD in mp3 format which is very easy to do with programs that may come with your computer or the free Audacity audio recording program. The recordings are checked out of the library by the users who are visually impaired, and they do not use the audio in any commercial way. It’s really a win-win for everyone. You get to practice your Spanish (you need not be a native speaker), learn new vocabulary and topics while going that extra step to make your time more meaningful by making it available to others. If you don’t have the time, you could always donate money if that’s your preference. Patricia Soto is in charge of the library. She really is a funny and charming lady, so stop by and and chat with her to find out what books they have or if they are in need of a book that’s already in your collection. They will close the office in February, so get yourself in there if you want to grab something before the whole country goes on vacation!
Address: Rafael Cañas 165, Providencia Santiago (typical public office hours are 11 – 3 Mon-Thurs)
Land line: 2235 6891
Ñam Ñam = Yum Yum – Both the sound of the words and the festival are equivalent to delicious. If you’re not sure, that little mark above the N adds in a little Y sound so it does sound like yummy which I think is adorable. Anyhow, I’ve been here for five years today! That’s super weird because a] it wasn’t planned and b] how time doth flieth. Today also kicks off the 4th Annual Ñam Latin American Food Festival held this year in and around Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral or the GAM as it’s called. I have recently noticed that so many cultural, gastronomic and artistic events are all entering there 4th or 5th year in 2014. Were they waiting for me to get here? I guess not, but it certainly is handy. The whole weekend features cooking demonstrations, talks, tastings and markets for food and drink. The restaurants surrounding the GAM in the Lastarria neighborhood are said to be offering special dishes and festival discounts. There is even relevant cinema and film on offer that should pair nicely. Check it out!
Just a quick FYI, the 4th annual Femcine – or Festival Cine de Mujeres (Women) starts today and runs through Sunday in Santiago. I haven’t been yet, but I’m on my way. Let me know if you have any tips! It’s free to get in, too. You can download the PDF of the films and competition here.
UPDATE: There are many websites in Chile to find somewhere to live (Vendebien, Trovit, Emol, Portalinmobiliario, Yapo, Mercadolibre, Bienesonline, etc.) and they are mostly legit advertisers posting, but the site itself does not vouch for the veracity of the ads. After searching so many I’ve noticed a couple of advertisements that repeat themselves, but with some detail changes. Overall they show absolutely gorgeous, furnished apartments for a really low price. These are scams! Don’t transfer anyone money to Chile sight unseen or without having real data on them. Some swindle artists bank on someone’s trusting nature or desire to have a place to land immediately. Here is one example:
“Magnifico piso en zona privilegiada y emblemática en el centro de la ciudad. Acabados de exquisito gusto cocina totalmente equipada y amueblada con muebles de diseño office independiente lavandería trasero y parking. El apartamento dispone de puerta blindada, sistema de alarma, aire acondicionado frío / calor, doble acristalamiento, suelos de parquet en todas las habitaciones, eléctricas e instalaciones sanitarias en perfecto estado y parking.
Estratégicamente ubicado, a 150 metros del metro (estación de metro Francisco Bilbao) y el transporte público, a una cuadra de Las Condes y 2 cuadra de Ñuñoa.”
What is wrong with this? They give no contact information beyond an email address. Most people here still do business by phone. It includes no information on gastos comunes or how to actually go about renting the place. A real ad will usually say it is being rented by the owner (no commission) or an agency (usally 50% of one month rent as commission), 1 or 2 months as a deposit, “liquidaciones de sueldo” to show how much money you make, clean DICOM meaning your credit report is fine, etc. There is never NO information of this kind. Furthermore, it is impossible to be located near the Bilbao train and be 1 block from Las Condes and two from Ñuñoa, as they are two distinct and spacious neighborhoods that don’t even touch. It also calls the rental an “apartamento” which is used in other Spanish speaking countries, but in Chile they are called “departamentos”. Yeah, it’s weird and sounds like a department store but that’s the term used. This ad poster could really be anywhere for all we know. Lastly, the list price for this was about 400 dollars, but with all that bling included I’ve be shocked to find this truly for under 1,000 dollars (500,000 pesos) per month. As I said, the ad was posted on about 9 sites with no phone number. One site requires users to include a phone number so I called the one posted – not a real number. This ad is total B.S.
I recommend you get here and stay in a hostel for a week or so to look for a place. If you do line something up in a shared space ahead of time, that usually works, but don’t transfer ANY money until you are in person. This is a handy means to part ways with your cash and the asswipes continue to get rich while providing no service to society. If you have any questions, ask. I’ll be happy to help where I can.
Time to report the fake ads. Deseas denunciar este aviso como fraude? Yes ma’am.
I’m on the lookout for a new place to live, and it occurred to me to put a little note on here for anyone searching for a place in Santiago, Chile. Craigslist is a good site to find rooms to share or fully furnished apartments for shorter terms. If that’s what you need, great. But if you will be in Chile a bit longer, bear in mind that any ads you find in English will have the Gringo Tax included. This means the price for those living spaces are hyper inflated; at least 3 to 5 times what they are worth. Look for ads in Spanish. If you don’t speak Spanish, find a bilingual friend or hire someone to help you. It will save you a lot of money. Look in printed newspapers and online, or even check the ad spaces near the door at a grocery store. Maybe you’re the crazy type and don’t care what you pay for a place to live. Well, then you’d be encouraging these people to keep up the rapery. Find a place at a decent price and donate your savings to someone else in need.
Another thing to think about are gastos comunes, or shared expenses [water, hallway/rooftop lighting, gym or pool, door guys]. If you rent an apartment [not a house], this is likely an additional fee that you have to consider. In my current building I pay about 35 bucks a month for this, as I have no pool or gym. If you rent in a high-rise, expect to pay 150 USD per month or more. If you share an apartment, ask if the price includes these expenses or not.
Lastly, I should mention this apartment / house sharing website. You can offer space in your own place or find a room for rent. The cool thing about this is two-fold; you don’t have to worry about finding all the paperwork necessary to set up shop. You just find people you get along with and install yourself in an already functioning home. Additionally, if you came to Chile to learn Spanish as a lot of people do, you will find Spanish speakers to live with and your language skills will progress much more rapidly than living alone or with English speakers. I recommend making sure there is a lock on your door. While the vast majority of people will be respectful of you and your things, there is always that shit-head out there ready to give everyone a bad name. Don’t tempt society’s scabs.
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For years – about 18 of ’em – I always had to work Sundays, so that may be why I just love having those days free now. There is something unsettling about having cranky customers leave a Jesus pamphlet in lieu of a tip while treating you like garbage that can really throw off your […]
Perú Gourmet has kicked off its four day event in Parque Bustamante, one green line train stop from Plaza Italia. It goes through Sunday and I’ll be making my way there tomorrow to what I hope is a Peruvian food heaven filled with bathtubfuls of ceviche, Cusqueña beer pouring out of the clouds and rocotto sauce rivers all around. There are 40 stands to check out, cooking demonstrations and kid fun. If you’re in town, check it out. If not I’ll let ya know how it went. ¡Viva Perú!
Don’t forget, Parque Bustamante – and many other outdoor spaces – will be jam-packed with food, theater, eco-fairs and other activities throughout the summer, so check the calendars for each comuna or read the banners tacked to the poles about town.
Lastly, the 2013 6th annual Movilh hosted LGBT international film festival [Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual] has begun and continues until October 30th at a number of locations. For programming go here. Oh, it’s totally free, too. Amazing.