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“Great selections, well prepared.”

Big Ralph's Hostal & Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 78 Restaurants in Salinas
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $15
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: RALPH JONES, British Chef, having worked in culinary institutions in the UK, opened his own business in Salinas - Ecuador. A casual restaurant offering modern and traditional British food, in addition to quality and high standards based on extensive experience.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

You can taste the culinary experience in Ralph's dishes. In what was otherwise a mostly bland-tasting trip to Ecuador, the food at Big Ralph's was well-prepared and tasty. The wait staff is friendly and attentive by Ecuadorian standards, and the atmosphere is relaxed and homey. As with most restaurants in the coastal region of Ecuador that we visited, be prepared to be seated next to other customers on the bench-style tables. For Americans who are not used to this, my recommendation is to just get over it and embrace the opportunity to meet someone new or at the very least eavesdrop on some undoubtedly stimulating Spanish language conversations. As for the food, the rating here reflects the fact that we have eaten all over the world and are fortunate enough to live in a gastronomical paradise when we are not traveling, so I rarely give five stars to anything, and the comments are meant to help the staff develop what I sense is intended to be a menu that appeals to the Anglican tourists. Our party of four ordered the fish and chips, the green curry, the "fish of the day" (corvina) and the braised beef. As others have said in their reviews the braised beef and corvina are tasty and prepared to order. Nothing sitting on the stove in this restaurant. The fish and chips are as advertised. Be sure to ask for the malt vinegar which they will bring to you - they just don't keep it sitting out on the tables since it is expensive to import. The green curry was delicious, too, but not at all spicy, especially by Thai standards. I think this dish could be a real find on the menu for those that are tired of eating rather bland rice and bean dishes all day, or are ready for a break from ceviche. My recommendation to Ralph would be to "kick it up a notch" (as we say) with some additional heat, label it as such on the menu, then be prepared to back off on the spices if someone asks. The dishes are all prepared to order, so this shouldn't be too difficult to manage. Overall, a solid restaurant/hostal with no surprises and plenty of options for everyone.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank B M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 - 88 of 172 reviews

Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

The fish and chips are good, but are a waste if Ralph's incredible culinary talent. Having lived in Salinas for almost a year, I can say Ralph's has the best food in town, and possibly even the best food in Ecuador. My favorites are the braised beef (oso buco) and the parmesan encrusted corvina. If you don't mind a little spice, the curries are also fabulous. Consistently friendly and efficient service makes dining here a pleasure.

1  Thank AlyMerino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Don't miss the outstanding food and excellent presentation from this formally-trained-in-London chef. The menu, as well as the wait staff, are bilingual so Spanish isn't required. I can't think of a place for a better meal in Salinas.

    • Food
1  Thank Sam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

The braised beef is outstanding, thai curry, corvina fish perfecto. Easy to find. Great atmosphere and Ralph a very personable creator of great food. Four of us ate fabulously delicious food topped off by a rice pudding that was superb. We will return again and again !

Thank PeterandJane357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Ralph doesn't just serve the best fish and chips, his braised beef (Oso Buco) was the best meal I have eaten in a restaurant in a long time, and the presentation is uptown. His Thai curry prawns were so authentic, and yes, the fish and chips has a light delicious batter. I would say that if you don't try this while in Salinas, you have missed one of the highlights. Check to see that he is open the day you want to go, as he has a short operating week, usually Wednesday to Saturday.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Jim L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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