Caribbean fusion cuisine

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A seafood platter, served on a banana leaf with “yuca” fries and “patacones.”

A seafood platter, served on a banana leaf with “yuca” fries and “patacones.”

Chef Cristóbal Valencia is the owner and executive chef of La Batea, a restaurant located adjacent to the Río Hato Market. The restaurant is spacious, minimalist and pristine, with dining in- or outdoors. Chef Cristóbal exudes youthful energy, optimism and creativity. His menu is an eclectic fusion of international cuisines, combining tastes and textures from African, Caribbean and Central and South America cooking.

His signature dish is octopus. It is marinated, grilled then garnished with caramelized cane juice and served with plantains. Although not too sweet, the plate almost passes for dessert. Another specialty is his arborio rice, a recipe with African and Jamaican influences, that uses fish, shrimp, onion, olive oil and “jerk” spice. It is a cross between Italian risotto and Spanish paella. Also popular is the Peruvian style ceviche prepared with leche de tigre, a Peruvian citrus base. The menu includes salads, soups, chicken, fish, seafood, steak, pork, lasagna and pasta as well as a good variety of desserts. The prices range from $7 to $28. La Batea has a full bar and a good wine list. The restaurant is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. They accept Visa, MasterCard and Clave. Tel. 6251-6861.Visit them at


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