Helena Adentro is a modern Colombian restaurant in Filandia, a tiny town in the coffee producing region. We’re staying with the owners – a New Zealander and a Colombian who met in Australia and whose coffee farm supplies Flight Coffee in Wellington.
A modern Colombian restaurant is not a common thing here. Colombian food tends to be very simple, and very standard. Helena’s owners say lots of Colombians leave when they look at the menu and realise it’s without classic Colombian soups. They’ve got their share of enthusiastic repeat customers too, but there’s definitely a more conservative section of the Colombian population who is not wild about this innovation thing. We love the food though. It’s hands down the best Colombian fare we have sampled. Our favorites so far have included:
- Chicharron (pork crackling) salad with orange and arepas.
- Slow cooked beef cheek and broccoli in a kebab style wrap.
- Pork ribs with carrot and coriander salad, served on patacones (fried savoury bananas).
Also setting Helena apart is the food presentation which is well considered and perfectly executed, and the decor of the place. Helena would not be at all out of place in a trendy suburb or town at home. Their tripadvisor ratings are through the roof but sadly few travelers will get to sample their wares. Filandia gets plenty of Colombian daytrippers, but isn’t part of the tourist trail for foreigners. Helena probably gets a group of travelers about once a month.