GOURMET’S CHOICE: Ecuadorian Spring Sensations

Gourmet's ChoiceTime Out

Ecuadorian cuisine is Madrid´s fastest rising cuisine

By Margaux Cintrno
Photos supplied



Calle Villanueva 21
Neighborhood: Colón/Velázquez
By phone: 91-577-6926 or 667-902-537
By e-mail: mmonar@paralelocero.es




When the Spanish and the Portuguese arrived in South America, they brought with them the memories of a world constructed on fusions of Christianity, Jewish and Muslim culinary traditions. They were influenced not only by the Pre-Columbian civilizations they encountered but also by the African slaves they brought with them and the native South Americans and, later, the Asians and North Americans (1800s). Geography is another enormous factor in such a vast region compiled by a heritage that has long remained hidden in Ecuador. The high Andes, the extensive Pacific coastline, the islands, and to the east The Amazon.

Chef Manuel Monar

Meet Chef Miguel Monar

Paralelo Restaurant´s dapper and English speaking chef and owner Miguel Monar turns Ecuadorian cuisine into a performance art and embraces his multi-cultural roots from Quito, into 21st century vanguard gastronomy. Opened since January 20th, 2014, Miguel has become one of the strongest proponents of cooking with substainly grown native ingredients from his homeland coupled with amazing Iberian and Mediterranean presentations and Ecuadorian ingredients being recultivated on Iberian soil. He goes as far as explaining the history on your plate, and appreciates the simplicity of his coastal, mountainous and Amazonian homeland cuisine merged into today´s cuisine and focuses on seasonal product availability.

Upon entering Paralelo there is the beautiful Bar and Salon seating area that hosts After Work, 17.30 to 20.30 on Thursdays, Gin Club with a carte featuring Gins from the four corners of the globe and a vast array of wonderful international cocktails.

The Ecuadorian Tapas Carte consists of 15 different gallery exhibition creations and the tapas from Ecuador are a mere 5 Euros each.

On April 14th, Paralelo had once again played host to introducing their gorgeous Latin Tapas and beautiful premises.
The Menu del Dia is 12 Euros Monday through Friday and is a Regional Spanish carte merged with sublime Ecuadorian touches.


Chef Miguel, Karolina Vergara, my neighbor and I shared
the exquisite Taster´s Carte :

>A vast array of Ecuadorian Tapas
>Shrimp and Prawn Ceviche, the Corvina, similar to Striped Bass Ceviche and the Octopus Ceviche
>Gallina Seco: Finely sliced breast of chicken strips, shredded ever so finely and combined with puréed seasonal vegetables and Ecuadorian potato, and formed into a Croquette shaped concoction held by a popsicle stick on a bed of mashed potato
>An array of desserts including Ecuadorian Chocolates
>The Carte came with a lovely Valencian Rosé which paired perfectly with all of the varying taste profiles. The wine list is focused on La Rioja and Ribera del Duero, however, it is in the process of seasonal re-engineering.


A few words about the extraordinary cuisine from Chef Miguel Monar

Margaux: Tell us about your culinary philosophy.

Chef Miguel: Firstly, my concept is about re-designing and renovating an ancient cuisine to present to a modern audience. There is a large gamut of epicurean specialties that to date have been reformed for the contemporary palate and the visual philosophy of the 21st Century, “I eat with my eyes first.”

Margaux: I see you have a Gin Club. Can you tell us a little more about this.

Chef Miguel: We are promoting our After Work cocktails and Latin Tapas. We have selected almost 20 varieties of Gin which are paired into International Cocktails and given names befitting each. We open our Gin Club at 17.30 and shall be opening for the season until we close within the next few weeks. Furthermore, our Latin Tapas which provide a true taste explosion of our culture, at the mere cost of 5 Euros each. This serves as a tasting, so those who have never had Ecuadorian cuisine can sample a few of our wonders.


Two more of Paralelo’s exquisite Ecuadorian dishes

The Trio: Ecuadorian guacamole, rice and lamb

La Seca Gallina

La Seca Gallina