Tegui is a medium sized place that is a surprise inside as its building is covered with graffiti and the entrance is marked only on the door. The well spaced tables are set with nice white tableclothes and huge napkins. A bench seat provides the seating along one wall for the smaller tables where as the 4-tops are next to large windows looking out to an area of lighted plants. One end of the room is a wall of glassed in wine bottles and the other the open kitchen, highlighted by a huge stainless steel bull head on the end of the vent hood. The lighting was mostly provided by candles and pop music played in the background. The ceiling was a shiny black wood and the wood floor was painted gray. They have been here 10 years. The staff was all friendly, helpful and conversant in English. They only offer a tasting menu, for which the course listing was at the table, and wine pairings are available, however we chose to order our own wines. They featured a number of local items in their dishes.
Several snacks preceeded the menu. First was a red corn cracker alongside fermented corn cream. The cracker was light, crispy and covered with bits of popped corn. The dip was all right but I’m not sure it enhanced the fun cracker. It was plenty good by itself.
A fermented cheese cracker was covered with beans and mint. The cracker was seedy with lots of good texture. An Oxalis tuberosa, a native vegetable, was topped with oxalis leaves. It was tasty,
A mata biscuit was housemade and served with a salted butter. It was dense and moist and the butter was good.
The first course of the menu was Jerusalem Artichoke in 3 different textures. A smooth purée was on the bottom of the pile and fried crisp pieces of the skin topped the dish. In between were chips made from the interior or the artichoke. It all combined into a tasty dish with lots of texture and a good amount of Jerusalem artichoke flavor.
Pine mushrooms were cooked in butter and mushroom juice and then cut. Some purée of pinenuts was alongside some fried thin pieces and a mushroom sauce covered half of the large cap piece on the plate. The big piece was quite soft and you could really taste the pine. The jus was also strongly flavored. It was served room temperature and tasted good.
Cool oysters were previously grilled and then doused with a kiwi and seaweed foam. Some additional seaweed broth was brought to drink between bites to intensify the flavors. The kiwi acted like a lemon to complement the brine of the oyster and the broth definitely brought out the essence of the sea. It was a good pairing.
Choike, pupusa (thick cornmeal flatbread) and quinoa were combined for a room temperature dish. The quinoa was made into a cracker and the white powdery substance on top was fermented quinoa. The choike was mixed with pupusa and made into an oil that was inside the cracker. The end result was a very mild flavor but a load of texture. It was to be eaten by hand and very messy but fun.
A cow sweetbread was topped with ultra thin slice of green apple alongside some spring onion juice. The sweetbread was cooked perfectly and went nicely with the sweet/tart apple flavor. It was served with a Cremona, a traditional bread that was in a spoked form. It was crisp and composed of tons of layers, like a pastry, but not sweet on the crisp outside. It was buttery delicious. It was a good combination of flavors and textures.
Silverside Fish was cooked in olive oil and served with potato purée, green tomato and pine oil. The fish was very moist and mildly flavored. The tomatoes were almost like kumquats in their tartness but went well with the other flavors in the dish. The potatoes nicely rounded out the plate and added a good balance.
Partridge rubbed with cumin and Humita (in this case a creamy corn filling) made up the next plate. The cracker was dotted with cumin and pepper meringue. The humita was mixed with onions and spices and totally smooth. It made me think of corn bread stuffing that had been put in a blender till smooth and runny. It was really good. The partridge was small but tasty. This was a good one.
Goat and Grape leaves were grape leaves stuffed with goat meat and herbs. Alongside was a cup of kaffir cream dip. You were to fold the leaf and dip in the cream. It was very rich but not greasy. Really tasty.
Argentinian Guava and Chilto (a tree tomato) were presented whole for you to see. Then the Chilto was turned into ice cream and placed on slices of guava. The ice cream was tart and the guava more sweet. It was an interesting combination and a good palate cleanser. You could drink red or white wine with it equally well.
Chinchil (local herb) and Yogurt was a granola like substance with a tart yogurt sorbet, creamy sauce and a chocolate filled fried ball. Here the yogurt was too tart and didn’t work with the chocolate. The best was to eat the ball with the creamy sauce and ignore the sorbet. This one would only rate an okay.