We're not afraid to travel for food (probably because there isn't really much good food where we live), but thankfully, we don't have to travel too far to have our first taste of Columbian food. Yay! :)
When we visit Chatswood, we tend to go for the many Asian restaurants that are there (of which there are many I've yet to try) so I probably would never have noticed La Latina on the side streets, were it not for the fact that we'd bought a groupon out of curiosity to have a taste of a cuisine we'd never tried before.
Passionfruit juice $5
It's a cute little cafe specialising in arepas, but also stocks plenty of exciting South American snacks and sauces, as well as plenty of interesting fruit juices! The drinks menu consists of plenty of exotic fruits which we've never heard of before, making it a difficult decision to choose one- we want to try all of them!
The passionfruit picture on the menu is a different species of passionfruit than what we're used to, with yellow skin instead of purple- we're not sure if it's for illustration purposes, or if the actual drink is made from the yellow passionfruit, but we order it anyway. It's nice and freshing, with a nice sour kick, but not overpoweringly so, accompanied by a touch of sweetness.
I was quite intrigued by the picture of the soursop on the menu, which looked much like a long custard apple to me. The staff tried their best to describe the taste to me (although it is terribly difficult to describe fruits!) and told me it was quite nice, so I decided to give it a go. And I'm glad I did- I really enjoyed it! It's slightly similar to custard apple, in that it's creamy texture is similar and you can sort of taste the distinct custard apple taste in it, but it's quite different in that it is less sweet and much more sour (though not nearly as sour as passionfruit!)
They also stock frozen fruit blocks, which you can buy to take home and make your own fruit juices too, which I thought was pretty cool :)
The arepas (grilled corn breads) took a while to come (around 20 minutes), but that was expected, as these breads need to be cooked on low, slow heat. There's no shortage of options for fillings, but we find it easier choosing off the pictures than the written menu, so we just pick the two pictures which look the nicest (which also happened to be the first two options).
We were surprised at how much we actually enjoyed the arepas, they didn't look too exciting, but tasted anything but. The slow cooking creates a soft fluff interior, whilst the exterior remains thick and crispy. The ratio of filling to bread is excellent, and the shredded mince filling is incredibly tasty, with plenty of sauce for the bread to soak up.
Whilst we prefer the shredded beef filling over the chicken and avocado, the chicken and avocado is still really good, with soft, tender chicken shreds encased in a creamy avocado sauce. Given their small size, they are also surprisingly filling, leaving us a bit too full to head straight over to our next dining destination for dessert as we'd originally planned.
We'd also bought a voucher for Pop, Choc & Rock because no meal is complete without dessert (or rather we didn't think that an arepa each would be very filling, giving us a perfect excuse to have dessert!). It's a small cafe/ice cream shop at the edge of the food court at Westfield's. They also sell some super cute ice blocks too which seemed to be pretty popular with the young kids who walked past (just don't plan to visit during the school holidays like we originally did because their seating for 8 gets filled pretty quickly with children so you won't get anywhere to sit down!).
We got a waffle each, which was surprisingly good, the perfect balance of crisp and fluffy, drizzled with plenty of chocolate sauce. The dollop of chocolate ice cream was extremely chocolatey and would have been amazing on its own, if it had not been overshadowed by the sweetness of the waffle and chocolate sauce. We also tried their coffees, but we couldn't really taste much but bitterness (even after adding two sugars), after the really sweet waffle- lesson learnt: eat your ice cream and drink your coffee before eating your waffle!