The owners of the Arsenal Hotel Boutique called in the big guns to create Karib Restaurante Bar, a traditional Colombian restaurant with a creative, culinary twist that sets it apart from its seafood-centric neighbours on Calle Larga.
Found on the ground floor of the newest boutique hotel in Getsemani, just a stone's throw from the Cartagena Convention Centre, this stylish eatery caters to hungry visitors looking to taste their way through the gastronomic delights of Colombia without breaking the bank or busting a gut.
Serial restaurateur Diego Camacho conjured up a tapa- style concept for the novel menu taking the debilitating post-lunch languor out of some of Colombia's heartiest platters.
Serving up 100-grams bites of happiness, Karib Restaurante Bar will take you on a tantalising tour of the popular Colombian staples -bandeja paisa, ceviche, fried red snapper, posta negra and ropa vieja- that won't leave you pining for a post-lunch hammock session or too ballast laden to test out your newfound salsa steps in the clubs of Cartagena after dinner.
Camacho's sommelier training comes through in Karib Restaurante Bar's bold but brilliant step of blending traditional Colombian flavours with great wines from around the world.
Sharing is most definitely the order of the day so work your way through the 14 affordable starters -even the lobster comes in at a very reasonable COP$9,000 (USD$5.10)- or tuck into the 14 mains that have been stolen from the secret Colombian recipe book of Camacho's abuela (grandma) and re-worked to great effect.
Try the Corvina Ticuna, a sea bass fillet prepared in banana leaves and served up with the fruity and fiery tucupí sauce, a tangy temptation shipped in from Colombia's Amazon region. Other standout mains worth discretely loosening off your belt for include the oven-roasted red snapper fillet with coconut rice and salad and tenderloin steak al Tiesto between thin layers of arepas, an invention every bit as Colombian as songstress Shakira or the Sombrero Vueltiao.
Finish off your bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a Colombian espresso upstairs in the Arsenal Hotel Boutique's rooftop pool bar with a privileged view of the bay of Cartagena that will make you want to stick to your guns and stay.
Starters: From COP$5,500 |
Mains: From COP$22,000 | (USD$12.60)
Desserts: From COP$6,000 | (USD$4.00)