I arrived to Hostería Pampallacta Termales in the afternoon. I had eaten snacks and a fruit salad on the bus but definitely wanted to eat something more before going to the thermal baths. So I ordered a chicken soup and a strawberry batido. I was told to take the seat were there was a heater, and that was good because it is cold in Papallacta.
In the evening I ordered the Menu especial, which included caldo de pollo, trout (a small one), desert and a juice. I also ordered a glass of red wine.
The food I ate here was good and when I checked out I paid $14 for it. It was only I in the restaurant and at one occasion a family also staying at the hotel. However, on the sign outside Hostería Pampallacta Termales it says that the restaurant is open until 11:30pm.
Breakfast is included in the price and I was very surprised to see on a sign that they don’t start serving it until 8.30. That is very late. There is not much to do in Papallacta at night so I guess many people go to bed early, then wake up early and are ready for an early breakfast. Well, at least I was so I went to the restaurant and sat down to wait. A man working at the hotel went to ask the family if I could have breakfast earlier and luckily it was okay.
The breakfast was good with bread, cheese, jam, scrambled eggs, papaya, juice and coffee. But it was cold and I wore my mittens while eating.
We ate two meals (in addition to the included breakfast) in the resort’s attractive restaurant. Arriving late morning on a Sunday we came here for a light lunch. It was pretty quiet at that time – I think most guests had either not yet arrived or were in the spa, which has its own café. The cooler climate here made soup an attractive option and there were several to choose from. Chris had the traditional locra de papa, which was very good, and I decided to try something different, a quinoa soup – also very good. These were served with obviously home-baked cheesy scones which were delicious! I had a large glass of tree tomato juice, which being tart went well with the savoury soup, and Chris had a refreshing mix of mora and guanabana. We also both had coffees afterwards. The bill was $25 – noticeably higher than what we had been paying for similar meals in Quito, even in the smarter restaurants there.
Favorite Dish: We ate dinner here in the evening too, and found it to be very good indeed. I tried the heart of palm ceviche as a change from the usual seafood variations (very good, and gives vegetarians an opportunity to try this traditional and tasty dish), while Chris had a shrimp ceviche, which he enjoyed. These starters were accompanied by more of the excellent cheesy scones we had enjoyed with our lunch-time soups.
My main course though was the stand-out dish. This part of Ecuador is known for its trout farms and there are several trout dishes on the menu here. I went for the trout en papillon and was thoroughly impressed – an excellent piece of fish, expertly filleted, and baked in foil with a selection of finely chopped vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, onions etc.) and small shrimps – highly recommended. Chris is not so keen on fish so stuck with a chicken burger, which was also, he said, very good. With a large and a small beer, and service, we paid $47 – again, dearer than we had been paying in Quito but not bad value for such a good meal.
Next tip: a visit to the hot pools