I haven’t been to Ecuador or Bolivia, nor had I ever considered what Ecuadorians and Bolivians like to eat for dinner. Turns out it is rice, beans and LOTS of meat, if El Rincon Quiteno’s menu is anything to go by. This small, primary-coloured restaurant is run with an undercurrent of sinister by a very polite chap who you wouldn’t want to anger, and who appears to do a lot of the cooking as well as front of house. Thankfully he’s pretty good at both. A cheese-stuffed plaintain starter was cooked beautifully but needed something more exciting than exactly what it says on the tin. Potatoes and chorizo cooked in red wine (pictured below), on the other hand, looked pretty bland but tasted wonderful; the soft potatoes had gathered up all the best flavours and some gently spiced salty sausage, though a bit light on the paprika to be sold as chorizo, gave a great meaty hit.
A great meaty hit is about all I can say for the main courses, though. All the little side dish frills – plain rice, avocado, corn bread, black beans – were perfectly nice, but none of it actually had much to say for itself. The various enormous portions of meat were expertly cooked and seasoned, but not exciting enough to finish. Between this and the blaring South American pop hits we asked for the bill before our plates were cleared, and I’d probably only go back when trying to feed a carnivore on a budget. Or to continue pretending that El Rincon is the Holloway version of Los Pollos Hermanos.
El Rincon Quiteno
235 Holloway Rd, N7 8HG, 020 7700 3670