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“Lots of interesting tastes”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Manolo Caracol

Manolo Caracol
Ranked #110 of 980 Restaurants in Panama City
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: One of the most renowned restaurants in Panama City, this Casco Viejo gem requires guests to put their tastebuds in the hands of Spanish chef/owner Manolo Madueño. You don’t order off the menu—about 12 courses of seasonal dishes will arrive at your table during either lunch or dinner. A cozy dining room adds to the hours-long experience.
chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
147 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Lots of interesting tastes”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

We enjoyed this small plates, fixed menu restaurant in Caso Viejo. That night we had shrimp tacos, Chinese soup with wonton, beef satay, piqueno peppers with rice, black snapper with shrimp among other things. Each was nicely presented and tasty. I would actually rate it somewhere between good and very good. Electricity went out twice, but they are used to it in the Casco Viejo and just kept serving. They do make accomodations for those who don't eat fish or meat, but since many of the dishes had fish, I am not sure whether it would be intersting for non-fish eater. My major complaint is that the wine and alcohol is way over-priced. We found that rum and Chilean wines are very reasonably priced all over Panama and here the cheapest bottle of white wine was $40.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mxalpert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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536 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    253
    147
    70
    26
    40
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
83 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Overrated”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

After reading all the reviews, I can't help but writing this review.The restaurant in general: The staffs are not very accommodating but the place is good and clean. The food and price,well, bad and good.A few selection of good wines. But haute cuisine,not at all,try harder. I had to smile when they started the 10 course meal, what an experience. Try it, might be your taste,you know.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Viatorem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VA
Level Contributor
120 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Quite an experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

What more can I say other than list the 10 course meal for $36...

Bread w/creamy salsa
Spring roll
Ceviche
Squash soup
Coconut rice with beef
Prawns with palmetto slaw
Lobster sliders
Sausage with corn cakes
White fish frittatas
Bread pudding with berry sauce

You will enjoy it!!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PeteVa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto Alegre, RS
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Worse meal in Panama”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

I have a lot of business in Panama and I've been coming to Panama for many many years, sometimes twice a month. I've been to thousand of places that deserved great reviews which i never did but I will.
Manolo Caracol is a joke. Is insanely bad. Can you people imagine someone serving a "raw spring roll" which consisted of a dumpling filled with raw lettuce and raw carrots with absolutely no seasoning? After that I knew it would get worse. And it did...
For second course, a bad ceviche. Anywhere in Panama you go, any kind of restaurant serves ceviche for appetizer, even italian or arab restaurants. And they do it nicely. Manolo Caracol's ceviche is awful, full of celery. It's was bad, real bad. And I wont go on, dish after dish of a disastrous tasting menu came bad. Anyone with a little knowledge of food wouldn't serve that to a dog. The chef is clueless. I don't know if a cook or a dishwasher cooked my food. Service was bad, slow and also clueless. Air conditioner wasn't working. And they charge U$41,00 per person. Wine list is poor, beer list is ridiculous with only 2 options. When in town with someone you hate a lot, that's the place to bring your worse enemy.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Rschwartz1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Hit or Miss”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013 via mobile

After this last visit I am asking myself why I keep going back. Our first meal here a year ago was fantastic. The service was impeccable and the food and wine flowed perfectly. Our second meal couldn't have been worse. The food less than ordinary and at one point a guest at another table pulled out a laptop and speaker and started playing music and singing aling with his clients. I swore I'd never go back, but there I was on Saturday, hopeful to have a meal as perfect as the first. No joy. The food was nice enough, but the service was rubbish. The wine list, on its customary wooden paddle, was handed to me across the table. I chose 5 wines before I finally asked so why don't you tell me what you DO have. The server came back with one which wasn't on the menu and couldn't tell us a thing about it. She just shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't like wine. Each course was brought out unceremoniously and with no explanation.
My conclusion: Once is enough for the novelty of the set menu. Either the owner and chef are absent or they simply became careless.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank constantmovement
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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