Azafran, Mendoza, Argentina.

October 2018

This small bistro is just a drop-dead classic Argentine delight. It was highly recommended online and that was fully justified. It’s located in the south Godoy Cruz residential neighbourhood of this sensuous city.

The storefront is unassuming and when the tall glass doors open there are a couple of steps up into the high-ceilinged classy space and its 15-18 tables. At the front is a wine retail and storage room with a circular seating bar for 8-10 people. The welcome was cheerful and the aroma complicated and inviting.

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We sat centrally. Beside us another couple had ordered a beef rib for two, which was arriving deliciously browned with a single large rib, and was carved into half-inch slices by the server. We were tempted but wanted some variety and so ordered lamb rack chops and a risotto. I was invited to go up to the wine room which was their approach to choice in place of a list. The sommelier helped me choose a lovely malbec in our price range.

The lamb was interesting, loaded with flavour which included garlic and several herbs beside a pea puree. there was a bit of a tough edge around the very tender and perfectly-cooked centre. The risotto also delicious, al dente and sweet with its cheese and herbs.

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Azafran is a delightful surprise for all senses. A world-class treat and, as always in Argentina, very good value. Don’t miss it, we happily add our approval to its already high recommendation.  Food 9.2, service 9.3, ambience 9.5, value 8.9, peace and quiet 8.2.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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