Peumayen is a fairly large place with a tarp-covered open air patio in the the room adjacent to the main building. The patio has a large pass through window into the semi-open kitchen. Rustic woods make up the floor whereas the tabletops are of polished wood appointed with a stone to set the wooden plates on and the smallest cloth napkin. Soft Spanish background music plays and there is a lively crowd that included several large groups. The menu has been translated into English but the waiter willingly goes through an explanation of the menu. There are a la carte options as well as plates of multiple things.
We were immediately greeted with a ‘welcome tea’, that was bland and then a bite of house tartar and bread which was quite good with a tasty round of crispy bread on the bottom.
Next is bread service which is a long tray of small bites of different breads, varying by temperature, texture and taste. Looking at the photo from left to right, the first one had a tart purple topping on a potato bread, a sweetbread baked on a hot stone till crisp with a hot sauce that had a nice spice, the brown square was a banana/coconut moist cake like thing, a fried mashed potato was next which was nicely crispy, a dumpling of white beans was cold and quite bland and gummy, the green ball was another bland thing, another long dumpling of sweet pear tasted just like pear but was not overly sweet, potatoes in lard were chewy. The banana/coconut was by far my favorite but the fried mashed potatoes was okay too. Otherwise is was not as overwhelming as the number of options might suggest.
Another gift was a small dish of white beans, green sauce and coriander. It was like a mild bean salad and worked well with the hot sauce from the bread tray.
We split the regular starter tasting tray. It included everything on the starter list. Razor clams, cuttlefish and seaweed is on the left and it was yucky. The Achawal, onions and mushrooms was chicken bits served on polenta. Some purple potato salad was next to the cow tongue pate that was served with honey, smoked cauliflower and merken. Lamb tongue was mixed with hazelnuts and fried into a ball and it was nice. Sweetbreads were served with potatoes and were nice but barely cooked, spinach was in a round and filled with creamy something. Overall there were lots of tastes, too many potatoes and not enough textural variations. I don’t think there was one that I’d want a whole order of it.
A stick of fried seaweed with avocado was a transitional gift. It was very crisp with a grassy flavor but the avocado was mostly tasteless. It was a fun transition but left a fishy aftertaste rather than clearing my palate.
The Up North plate had a soup of lamb ham with onion and a hot rock to heat it, beef tripe, shredded rabbit, corn purée, goat cheese, corn kernals, fried yucca and a large sopapilla (fried bread). The corn purée was exceedingly bland, the rabbit very salty, goat cheese chunks ordinary and the sopapilla was crisp and tasty but also really greasy. I would not call it a winning seleciton.
The Cahuello Fondo was horse steak cooked a nice medium rare with a herby sauce. It was lean meat that was tasty. Along side was a vegetable mash topped with an egg where the white was not cooked – yuk. A salad with beans and potatoes was also on the plate and it was tart.
We opted to not try their desserts or sampler plate thereof but were still gifted with a profiterole filled with chocolate and some weird flavoring. The pastry was too soft and it did not provide a good sweet fix.