The next morning, we packed up and were ready to move to the hotel (Emperador Hotel Buenos Aires) that our cruise has booked for us (included as part of our cruise itinerary, they called it Day 1). We tried out the empanadas at a local store nearby the Intercontinental before the check-out and they were good and cheap!
Our room was not ready at Emperador Hotel Buenos Aires and we found out that actually Jeffrey, Judy, and Peter were booked at the Sofitel Buenos Aires Recoleta (probably they paid for a higher cabin with three people). It was within walking distance so not an issue for us. Both hotels are in the Retiro neighborhood, much more touristy and lively. We got an envelope with information about our stay and cruise. I asked the receptionist where is the COVID test booth and he pointed us downstairs where the Hurtigruten conference rooms were. We took the rapid test, checked in with the staff, and confirmed our bus number #5, flight info, and departure time from the hotel. We also got the Hurtigruten luggage tags and were told to leave our check-in luggage outside our hotel room by 10 PM so they can collect them. We asked if we can come back after lunch for our COVID test result, and the lady said the result should be back in 15 minutes so we waited. Yay, all of us were negative so were clear to cruise, phew!!!
For lunch, we walked to Negroni in between our hotels. It is a Japanese fusion restaurant. We ordered a crab cake and it was just okay.
Jason ordered a short rib and was salty.
I was craving stir-fried noodles but they didn’t have that. Instead, I ordered the seafood stir-fried with white rice. OMG, the sauce was so salty that it ruined all the seafood taste.
Jeffrey ordered a sushi combo plate, he said was fine, chain-restaurant quality.
The lunch total was 27615 pesos and it was the only time we didn’t tip because service was nonexistent. After lunch, we took taxis to Recoleta Cemetery, according to many guides, a must-see in Buenos Aires.
The entrance fee was 1400 pesos per person and they only accept credit cards, what!!! Why in the world I would pay to see a cemetery if you are wondering….
Not only that it is where famous people were buried, but the cemetery was also like a mini version of mansions!
It is quite creepy if you peek inside, you can see the coffins in there, urg they don’t bury under the soil -.-
Rows and rows of mansions like they are displaying and competing for their wealth.
A lot with broken glass, tomb raiders?
We spent probably less than an hour there so was it worth the entrance fee? Urg…in my opinion, no.
Next, we took the taxis to El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a theater-turned-bookstore that is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. It is indeed beautiful and grand!
We had some time before our dinner reservation at Mishiguene at 7 PM, another one of the top 100 restaurants in the world; it’s Jewish cuisine with a modern Argentinan twist. We walked around the area to check out their clothing stores and they were sooo expensive, much more expensive than in the US! I don’t know how local people can afford them, I guess only for rich people!
We took the taxis to Mishiguene, we got there when it opened and seated immediately. We all ordered their 6 courses menu for 15000 pesos per person. Free alcohol drink which I gave to Jeffrey.
The interior of the restaurant:
It was our first time having Jewish cuisine so we didn’t know what dishes to expect. The bread was great.
The first course was a grilled eggplant covered with this mayo-like sauce and with peppers and cumins on top in olive oil and I have no idea what the orange sauce was. We got 2 plates of that to share between the 5 of us…I would think 4 people would get 2 plates to share too! It was interesting the taste with the mix of all those spices and sauces.
It took forever for our 2nd course to come, it was ground meat with almost the same sauce as the eggplant. Like I said, it was our first time having Jewish cuisine and I found so far that most dishes are olive oil, pepper and cumin flavor. Once again, we got 2 plates to share.
The dish came along with this fried bread, cracker, whatever you call it filled with cumins and peppers! I like the crunchiness and the spicy flavors.
Then we waited and waited, it was like the kitchen was short-staffed while the waiter looked busy running around. We need to get back to the hotel by 9:30 PM to get our room key, get the luggage ready, and put it outside for the crew to collect. Judy flagged down the waiter and let him know that we need to leave by 9 PM, he said not a problem…
The 3rd course came…we each got a bowl of dumplings/raviolis, at least this time we have our own portion and not to share among 2 plates. The taste was okay, nothing special.
Another 15 minutes of wait, it was 9 PM and we got our 4th course. There was no way we can have 2 more courses within the next 10 minutes so Jason and I left. Judy, Peter, Jeffrey got their room key already so they left later in which they never get to the 5th and 6th course and paid the bill. We were fully charged for the 6 courses, there was no appology, nothing!
Thus, I do not recommend Mishiguene: service was slow and bad, food was just okay, the flavors get repetitive – pepper, cumin, olive oil, portion was not right for the price we paid, I don’t know how it made it to the top 100 restaurants in the world!
We rushed back to our hotel, got our room key, repack for the check-in luggage, tagged the luggage tag, and placed outside our door just before 10 PM. The room felt more comfortable than the room at the Intercontinental.
The bathroom was in much better shape.
I couldn’t wait for the official start of the cruise the next day! Buenos Aires was okay for food in general and a quick stop before the cruise. If I combined the cruise with Patagonia then I would just stay in Buenos Aires overnight and move on; there’s not much to do and see that fit my interest.