Traditional Paraguayan cuisine goes gourmet in Pakuri. Located in Asunción, this upscale restaurant has put the traditional Paraguayan cuisine on the international culinary map, by combining classic and contemporary in its dishes. The restaurant has an angular, contemporary structure made from converted shipping containers, with up-and-coming Paraguayan artistic décor and a wonderfully large, lush tropical garden.
The first thing they serve is a complimentary dish – mandioca balls with a side serving of tomato. This is followed by sourdough bread that is crusty and made of round chickpea flour. This is accompanied by ‘miel de caña,’ which is a type of sugarcane honey. Butter is singed carefully on the bread the right amount in order to give it a smoky and caramelized flavor. They bake the bread in a giant Paraguayan traditional wooden oven, which is sphere-shaped and is better known as ‘tatakua’.
Classic Meets Contemporary
One of the most popular foods of Paraguay, ‘sopa paraguaya’ is also prepared in the tatakua. This baked solid soup is the country’s favorite dish. At Pakuri it comes with a deviating creamy-smooth texture with a crispy all-around crust on top. For something lighter, there is handmade gluten-free pasta stuffed with greens and plated with a serving of beetroot sauce that is lightly smoked and has a fruity aroma.
In classic dessert, they serve candied papaya that is syrupy along with tiny cubes of local soft cheese, mature cheese ice cream, and tofu.
Raising a Glass
Pakuri adds a twist on the country’s favorite drinks too. ‘Cocido Ka’ure’ is a popular local drink. This yerba mate drink generally is made by putting a burnt mixture of sugar and mate on hot coals. These ingredients are then boiled with water. This creates a type of caramel-flavored, hot tea. At Pakuri, it is reduced to a syrup and is then served with caña (a local herb mixed Paraguayan sugar cane spirit), and grapefruit, and gin.
Pakuri undoubtedly serves a never-had-ever culinary experience, giving a modern makeover to time-honored local dishes and hearty family favorites of Paraguay.