Jan 10 2013

Pikayo

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My Frommers travel guide as well as another travel guide I had gave Pikayo the highest rating it could, so even though at first I was a bit reluctant to try it, as it was fusion Puerto Rican food where the main chef Wilo Benet combines traditional Puerto Rican ingredients with Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, Italian, French and Arab influences, and I wanted to eat more traditional Peruvian food, in the end I decided to give it a try. Wilo Benet is a celebrity chef in Puerto Rico and besides owning Pikayo since 1990, he does TV appearances, writes books and also creates his own wine. When we first arrived to the Conrad Condado hotel where Pikayo is located it had a strangish/ cheap feel to it. Pikayo was located on first floor, and on one side there was a casino and on the other side Pikayo. When we entered the restaurant we were greeted and taken to a small table for 2. The room seems light and bright and there is artwork on the walls, but the décor is quite minimalistic. It took a while for the waiter to approach us and take our drinks order and only after the drinks arrived someone approached us with the menus. At first therefore I though the service was not great and too slow, but then later on during the meal the table next to us broke 2 wine glasses and spilled red wine all over the table and the floor and the staff were extremely efficient and quick when dealing with this, as they moved the people away from the table immediately and also changed everything very quickly. As I was so impressed with this, I guess I have to say the service was actually very good. The manager of the place was great walking all over the room and spotting little things and directing the waiters to the right place. 

 

You could have a tasting menu at Pikayo, but as my boyfriend does not like these, and also as we were not that hungry we decided to opt for a la carte. Whilst we were studying the menu, the waiter brought us some warm bread and some Puerto Rican inspired butter, that had honey and sesame seeds, and although I thought the butter was a bit too sweet for my liking (I love the salty type), I loved the little Puerto Rican touch, as I had already noticed that here they love sesame seeds and add it to various things. The menu features small snacks called “pikadera”, cold starters, hot starters as well as main courses, which are divided in two sections, “from the sea” and “from the land”. We decided to go for 2 types of snacks (which by the way were not small at all and more like a large starter in Europe), the “mini kobe beef churrasco burgers with chimichurri” as well as the “pork cheek taquitos with pickled red onions”. We got 6 mini burgers, and they were absolutely delicious, the meat was so tasty and so soft, and the chimichurri went so well with the meat as it was slightly spicy, and the bread buns were also great, loved this snack.  The 4 pork taquitos that we got were also delicious, the pork was soft, the onions added a nice little thing to them and the shells of the taquito were crunchy. For the main course we shared a “rare Hawaiian yellow fin tuna” which was seared cold with “napa cabbage, shitaki mushrooms and oriental black bean sauce”. As we were sharing this they brought us this dish already divided up into two plates and I thought they were giving us two whole portions, as the size of the half portion was so large. The tuna as the menu had stated was cold and had a tinu bit of searing and was delicious and soft, very good quality fish that almost melted in your mouth. I was less keen on the garnishes on the plate though. The whole black bean sauce with shitaki mushrooms and cabbage and also once again sesame seeds was just a bit too sweet for me, and it had just a strange taste to it. but maybe it is just me, so I ate the tuna without really eating the sauce. To go with the tuna we had also ordered some typical Puerto Rican rice that was prepared with crab meat, and it was very nice, full of flavour. I had a very pleasant meal in Pikayo, and also when the bill arrived it seemed very reasonable for this type of food, so I would recommend you go there if you are in Puerto Rico. 

 

Date: 10/01/13

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Price for 2 with alcohol and service charge: $155

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

Pikayo
999 Ashford Avenue PR 00907
San Juan
Puerto Rico
PR
Pikayo Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5