Tiestos Cafe Restaurant

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Juan Jaramillo, Cuenca, Ecuador

Tiestos Cafe Restaurant Cuenca Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
341 reviews
Cosy and popular Nov 01, 2012
Our friends in Quito had told us that Cuenca was the place to eat the best food in the country, and I had read that Tiesto’s did the best food in Cuenca, so it seemed that this was a place we should try! As we only had two evenings here, and as we were equally impressed with our dinner on the second of these, I’m not in a position to vouch for this being the best – but I can say that it was very good food indeed, although we did have a few issues with the service.

We had popped in while passing earlier in the day and reserved a table, and it was just as well that we had, because the restaurant, split over two small rooms, was packed. Even with a reservation we had to wait five minutes for our table. But the food was worth the wait.

On seating we were brought a basket of baguette slices and eight (!) little bowls containing a variety of chilli sauces which were named and described so quickly by the waitress that we didn’t really take in what she said – though I do know one sauce contained pineapple and another apple, while one was very hot indeed!

We were still enjoying these when our mains (we had wisely opted not to have starters) arrived – rather too quickly really. These were both delicious. Chris had chicken in a sauce made with blue cheese (En salsa de queso azul), while my chicken was cooked in sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions (El Tiesto en su salsa). The latter was an especially large portion so Chris had some of that too. More, slightly larger, bowls appeared with a variety of accompaniments including boiled potatoes, rice, salad, white corn, a semolina salad and marocho (a variety of maize and my favourite, though Chris was less keen).

You could spend quite a lot of money here (a tasting menu for two costs $62, for instance) but our bill, with two Club beers, was a very reasonable $29. The only sour note (apart from the over-speedy serving of the main course) was that we were short changed, and although this was corrected as soon as we pointed it out, there was no apology.

But plus points for the cosy atmosphere, lovely old building and gregarious chef, who makes a point of visiting each table to check that you are enjoying his food. Definitely worth a visit, for both the experience and the quality of the meals.
In Tiesto’s
Bread and eight dips
Chicken in tomatoes, peppers and o…
In Tiesto’s
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geerbox geerbox
13 reviews
One of Ecuador's best restaurants Mar 24, 2010
I have been to Tiestos restaurant two times as of this writing, it’s a great restaurant in Cuenca Ecuador. Actually, it’s one of the best meals I’ve eaten in all of Ecuador, but it’s not comparable to cebiche or sushi (some of my favs) since the dishes are more about meat but they do have seafood dishes too.

The chef, Juan Carlos, is a super nice guy and very passionate about food. I met him the first visit to Tiestos because he usually comes out to the tables at one point or another to chat. And I was the only one at the table who could speak Spanish so we hit it off.

On the second visit, he remembered me ;) It had been only one month but I was still surprised. We were a party of four which makes things easier for ordering purposes because on the menu they are advertised for 4 people. So it’s a shared dish type of place and they will make the orders to however many portions you want, I’m sure he isn’t too excited to do one portion for each person at the table so be reasonable.

The menu has a big selection of beef, pork, and chicken plates with various sauces and variations. We chose chicken curry for 2 people and beef tenderloin in a cheese sauce topped with sliced tomatoes for 2 people as well. In talking with the chef before ordering he highly recommended the prawns. Only one other person at the table was interested so I asked for a single portion of prawns in a garlic butter sauce and there was no problem with the small portion.

The wine list is also pretty decent from what I’ve seen in other similarly priced restaurants in Ecuador. We had a couple bottles of a South African red, but can’t remember the details.

The food is cooked and presented in the same dish, ceramic or stone and size is based on the order. As the food comes out, the lid is lifted in a pretty dramatic fashion, usually by Juan Carlos himself, and you catch first glimpse of the great presentation of food in the wonderful sauces. I got ahead of myself a little; before bringing out the main dishes, they bring out little bowls of side dishes. I think we got 15 or so of the little things, some were only dipping sauces for bread and there were also potatoes, onions, ect…

The food arrived and it was amazing! Juan Carlos is a creative chef, especially for Ecuador. I haven’t seen dishes like these anywhere in the country and the food had great flavor! The portions were big too. Between the 4 of us, we couldn’t eat all of it and I’m a BIG eater and so is my buddy who was with. We were stuffed but it was a friend’s birthday so I asked Juan Carlos to bring her out his favorite dessert. It was a cake with great chocolate and fruit sauces. And of course it was delicious! Before leaving the restaurant, Juan Carlos and I talked again and I watched him prepare more dessert dishes. It was so effortless for him to “draw” the flowers on the plates with the sauces.

Tiestos is my favorite restaurant in Ecuador! The food is unlike any other I’ve seen or tasted in Ecuador and the atmosphere is equally pleasing. It’s not the cheapest place though. For the four of us, we spent around $120 for three main dishes, two bottles of wine, and a couple other drinks. Juan Carlos didn’t charge us for the birthday dessert though, how nice ;) I can’t wait to get back to Cuenca and have another great meal.
Not a huge sign on the front of th…
Beef tenderloin in cheese sauce …
Juan Carlos, great chef!
Chicken curry portion for 2
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