El Rincon Quiteno

Restaurants, Latin American and Caribbean Lower Holloway
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
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El Rincon Quiteno
Rob Greig

'Authentic' is the unoriginal, but correct description for this warm and buzzing little Ecuadorian-Bolivian restaurant. It feels like South America from the moment bowls of popcorn are plonked on the tables to the arrival of a 'vegetarian dish' containing chicken.

The simple, generous portions of meat with a variety of carbohydrates (rice, potatoes and plantain) makes it fell more like humid Quito than the damp Holloway Road.

These sort of home-style dishes are all about big flavours and contrasting textures. Saltenas, the Bolivian equivalent of a Cornish pasty, were very moreish, the slightly sweet, buttery pastry encasing savoury chicken.

Ceviche de camaron, a cocktail of prawns with red onion and coriander in a sweet and zingy orange dressing, was transformed by a sprinkling of maiz tostadas (crunchy fried kernels of Andean corn).

Pique macho of stewed beef with sliced frankfurters and deliriously yummy fried potatoes was given an oomph by a topping of crunchy salad of tomatoes and red onions. Bland, white and boiled, mote corn worked wonders with fat and crisp deep-fried marinated pork in fritada con mote.

Less successful were the arrez dishes of over-cooked and mainly featureless rice, uninspiring tortellini, and white fish that was too dry.

With its wholesome food, cheap prices, and welcoming but unhurried service it attracts hordes of local South Americans and cost-conscious students. We'll be going back for rare treats such as the curious casserole of tongue; or fanesca, the Ecuadorian Easter soup of salted cod and beans.


Venue name: El Rincon Quiteno
N7 8HG
Cross street: 235 Holloway Rd
Opening hours: Open 8am-11pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11pm Sat; 11am-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Holloway Road tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £35
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
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Ed. T

Came here for lunch to take advantage of their £7.50 deal which includes a soup and then a main course from a selection of European dishes. The soup was great all round, with the chicken soup being a meal in itself, the vegetable soup packing in great flavour and the red bean soup being a nice unusual offering to also lap up.

Main courses were from a selection of special fried rice, pasta, lasagna, chicken casserole etc. Not quite your "authentic" Southern American dishes, but still a good choice nonetheless. The portions were pretty large, especially given we had soup to start, and the service was impeccable with the waiter taking time to tell us all about what was on offer and his personal suggestions.

Overall the food for me was more like a 3/5 - while it's good, it's distinctly "home cooking" and I was a little disappointed they don't offer traditional dishes at lunch (and only for dinner). They do offer a selection of snacks like emapanads etc at their counter which looked like good bets though. 

What brings this place up to 4 stars for me is extremely friendly and warm service, and the generous portions. I hear that their dinner menu is similarly generous, but given the prices on their menu and that my girlfriend is vegetarian, I doubt i'll be back any time soon to check it out!

Alister R

London'd best kept secret. Head in at lunchimes to find the most amazong choice of continental dishes at proces only found outside of London!


Decided to get a bacon roll here before work, good value for a week with the chap very civil, go in today different chap, double the price, thanks for that, adios

John Chircop

Pique macho was something of a disaster. Although the bits of beef tasted v good, I did think they were overcooked and chewy. That however was not the reason behind my disappointment. The beef must have been fried in a pan in lots of oil and seasoning, which then just went onto the plate on the bed of chips the dish comes served with. The result was that there was a bed of soggy, oil drenched chips at the bottom of the plate which looked like a lake at the end. The generous serving of mayo on top didnt help, and my stomach didnt like it. My partner's silpancho was much better, though a bit bland sometimes, but it was a good combo of flavours: rice, fried banana, breaded fried beef etc. So overall, a disappointing first time for me, though I did feel the place deserved a second chance and the portion are v generous.