Having booked a few nice places to dine in Los Angeles, Havana, Montreal and San Francisco, Mr Wasabi told me we should go somewhere nice in Panama City. Not having done any previous research where to go in Panama, I enrolled the help of the concierge and finally made a collective decision to head to Solo Restaurante, which is housed within the Riande Granada Hotel.
Walking through the hotel to the restaurant I noticed that it was fairly modern and arty and I was looking forward to the restaurant. I was not sure what to expect, perhaps a near packed out restaurant serving delicious food with service to follow.
We had made a reservation via our hotel, but when we approached the restaurant they could not find our reservation, not that it had mattered as there were only a handful of tables occupied.
Complimentary Bread – Rosemary and plain served with rosemary butter and normal butter. Both of the reads were soft and fresh, and the butter was at room temperature where it was easily spreadable.
Amouse Bouche – Quails egg, warm condiments of sweet thick jam with a spicy kick. The accompanying dressing was savour, salty, creamy. Similar to a thousand island dressing.
White Fish Ceviche – Pandamanium Cevhice tends to be more tart and salty than ceviche in Mexico, this aside the ceviche was beautifully presented with crispy plantains and sliced red apples. Good light dish.
Fish Curry – the curry was a made from young coconut, as you can taste the texture of the ‘jelly’ part of the coconut and crushed pineapple. the flavours was interesting which seemed to work together with the white fish. The dish itself was needed more seasoning, as I ended up adding more cracked pepper into the dish.
Octopus Carpaccio – was a dish of just that. thinly sliced octopus served on top of thinly sliced potatoes. The octopus as tender in the middle with a slight charring taste. Mr Wasabi attempted half of his dish before proclaiming of getting sick of eating it.
Wok tossed Vegetables – Mr Wasabi was after some vegetables, so he asked for a specially made dish of cooked vegetables. This special dish consisted of onions, peppers, eggplant, carrot and bean sprouts. There was nothing interesting in this dish and would be more than willing to state that it was pretty average.
Service was indifferent. I was surprised to find that the staff at the restaurant spoke very little English. We ended up conversing to the staff using hand gestures and basic Spanish Our used knives and forks were not taken away and replaced with a new set with each dish we ordered. There was a long wait in-between our dishes even though the restaurant was not full. After we had finished with our Main’s were were not offered the dessert menu. We decided not to pursue dessert, as Mr Wasabi and I both agreed that it would be mediocre based on the dishes we had ordered. The food lacked the Wow factor that I was looking for. But you never going to know unless you actually go there yourself.
Location: Ave. Eusebio A. Morales, Riande Granada Hotel, Panamá, Panama