My food experience in Peru ~

Reply

Jan 14th, 2018, 08:08 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 182
My food experience in Peru ~

Lima, the capital city of Peru is filled with world-class restaurants. In fact, there are three of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants is located in Lima (While, London, and New York also “only” got three, and Maido, ranked number 8, is owned by a Japanese Chef). So, I made some reservations and I was determined to give my taste buds a treat that has been long overdue~

!

The Ingredients – Peruvian Corn, Potato, Quinoa, and Seafood

Visiting the local market would be fun because I always a lot of that I don’t usually see in my hometown. One of my most interesting market trip in Peru was in Cusco, at Mercado Central de San Pedro. The Peruvian grows different kinds of corns (some of them are really big), potatoes and quinoa. I remember I had an amazing quinoa and potato soup in a small joint in Cusco that I went there twice during my stay. Besides, healthy food like quinoa, chia seeds, and flax seeds are incredibly cheap in these markets; I got a whole bag of seeds and quinoa for about US$4, while they usually cost double (or even triple) in Whole Food in the US.

Peru also has a dramatic coastline by the Pacific Ocean. The country is also embraced by the Amazon River and Lake Titicaca in the East. Seafood is the major meat source for the Peruvian like fish, shrimp, oysters, and scallops. The Peruvian also eat chicken, even guinea pig, and alpaca, but not a lot of beef. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of Japanese restaurants in Lima that serves amazingly authentic sashimi and sushi. In fact, the locals love Japanese cuisine as well!

The dishes – Ceviche, Cuy, and Aji de Gallina

If you could only try one Peruvian dish and nothing more (although I wonder why you would get yourself into such predicament), I would implore you to go for Ceviche. This Peru’s national dish tastes rather “complex” and nearly all who tried it would have an immediate obsession. Ceviche is somehow easy to make but it is quite tricky to balance the flavor between ingredients. The meat (usually the seabass, sometimes with shrimp, octopus, or scallops, but I would simply go for the fish) is cooked and marinated in lime juice, onion, salt and a hint of hot chilies. It is served cold yet tastes hot and sour, the fish is tender and the onion is crispy… It’s so refreshing as an appetizer of a meal and I never have enough of it.

Another dish that I love is Aji de Gallina, the creamy chicken. Shredded chicken bathes in a thick sauce made with cream, cheese, ground walnuts, and aji Amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili pepper).

Again, the mix of hot and creaminess reflects Peru’s love of thickened sauces that tastes mild but pungent. The sauce is usually poured over chicken and served with rice, boil potatoes and black olive. It’s like a comfort food after a day out.

Lastly, the signature (yet maybe creepy to some) Peruvian dish… yes… let’s talk about Cuy, the Guinea Pig. The guinea pig and Alpaca are the Andean region’s major source of meat, while it’s common to them it might be nerve-wracking to those who think of it more as a pet than a meal and see the whole guinea pig lying on a dish. I didn’t actually taste the guinea pig myself but from the look of it, it does look very much like a small size roasted suckling pig, and I bet they would taste very much similar?

Chicha Morada and Pisco Sour

I were just walking along Miraflores (a neighborhood with shops and cafés), I wandered into small café for a snack and it was the first time that I had a Chicha Morada and I immediately fell in love with it. It is a Peruvian beverage made from purple corn and maize (I told you, Peru has a lot of corns) with spice. The ingredients are usually boiled with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar. It’s fruity and a little bit sweet, which was quite refreshing for my palate.

For those who drink, don’t forget to order a Pisco Sour while you are dining out because it is a signature cocktail originated in Peru! The base liquor of the drink is Peruvian pisco, and it is mixed with lime juice, Angostura bitters, egg white and syrup (that’s why there’s a layer of creamy white foam formed on top after shaken). Another refreshing drink that I like… apparently, I am a big fan of lime!

The World’s Best Restaurants and many more…

I mentioned earlier that three of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants are located in Lima; but forget about the list, there are a lot more excellent places in the city for everyone to explore. I couldn’t visit all – limited time, limited stomach room – and a table in some of these restaurants are simply arduous and back-breaking to get! Like Central Restaurante, it’s filled up months in advance and I couldn’t get in because the restaurant closes on Sundays and I was only available Sunday (which is extremely ironic to me because I was staying merely one block away from the restaurant). I had a friend though, who went there a month after my visit and gave praise to the food and services. Well, it doesn’t mean I couldn’t go back to Lima next year – as It still remains in the top 5 of the World’s Best Restaurants.

Most of these restaurants offer an amazing tasting menu with a number of dishes that I usually lost count for generally less than US$100. While they are considered “high-end” in a Peruvian standard, but honestly, they are to be considered good value compared to those places in London, New York, or Hong Kong (I mean… seriously). I would recommend to splurge a little and go for the tasting menu, it’s a journey and I found the experience satisfying.

Astrid y Gastón

The restaurant is located in the business district of Lima and it’s a historic building with abundant sunlight and open areas. The structure features a main dining hall, private dining areas and a 60-seat gastro bar with a mix of modern and traditional art décor. I was in the main dining hall for lunch, and the ceiling is a garden dedicated to experimental growing, while the plants were all hanging up-side-down. The chef’s tasting menu costs ~280 Peruvian Soles (without wine pairing) and it is comprised of a board selection of Peruvian cuisine from scallops, ceviche, corn, rabbit to guinea pig. The restaurant would update their menu from time to time~

I love the openness, spaciousness, and décor of the restaurant and I visited there for lunch on a sunny afternoon. The dining hall receives lots of sunlight (which is essential for the plants in the gardens) and it was a great experience to just relax and enjoy the warming breeze…

IK Restaurante

I had a great time with IK Restaurante’s tasting menu. Actually, I was the first to arrive, and so, the servers gave me a tour of the dining hall and I got to see all the light projections on the tables, which was inspired by various symbols in Peruvian tradition and gastronomy. The namesake chef, Ivan Kisic, tragically died in a car accident before the restaurant opened, and his brother continued his work and manage the restaurant.

The service was excellent and each dish had a fantastic presentation. I love their design of the menu; the ingredients were simple and “down to earth” (like wild mushrooms, potatoes, Sachatomate, pineapple, baby corns, cheese, pork belly, etc), yet it seeks harmony between the design and the message IK wanted to share – sustainability, recycling and love for the nature. They were a message of their kitchen philosophy – a respect to their mother earth and the importance of the natural growth of food.


Last edited by moderator8; Feb 13th, 2018 at 06:53 AM. Reason: delete blog redirect
knycx_journeying is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2018, 05:20 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 2
A great review of Peruvian current culinary scene, there is so much to taste and enjoy!
MagicalCuscoTours is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2018, 11:58 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Peruvian cuisine is definitely like a religion here! The best thing though about it is that you don't need to go to some of the fanciest, most expensive, or well-known restaurants to taste some really amazing flavors. Even neighborhood cevicherias, sangucherias, and many middle-of-the-road "menu" places have better flavors than some of the pricier spots in Miraflores, San Isdro, and Cusco

Some of my thoughts --

- I'm not sure how cuy has gotten the noteriety that it has. Perhaps simply for the novelty. It seems to be something to eat to say one has eaten it, but when in the highlands go for some Pachamanca -- the preperation is fascinating and there's a lot more history to the dish.
- Most travelers don't spend enough time exploring local markets. They're not always the prettiest or most touristy spots, but trying bread, fruits, and some other "safe" items lets you see, experience, and literally taste the culture. The Mercado Central de San Pedro in Cusco is a good example.
- More places outside of Lima (Cusco & Arequipa for now) are offering cooking classes/guided market visits. It's a good alternative to going to another restaurant and is pretty comparable in price. Plus you get to taste all sorts of dishes.

Enjoy the flavors
Bbult5 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 22nd, 2018, 10:05 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 182
Originally Posted by MagicalCuscoTours View Post
A great review of Peruvian current culinary scene, there is so much to taste and enjoy!
I totally agree, glad you like Peruvian dishes as well!
knycx_journeying is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2018, 06:03 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 182
Originally Posted by Bbult5 View Post
Peruvian cuisine is definitely like a religion here! The best thing though about it is that you don't need to go to some of the fanciest, most expensive, or well-known restaurants to taste some really amazing flavors. Even neighborhood cevicherias, sangucherias, and many middle-of-the-road "menu" places have better flavors than some of the pricier spots in Miraflores, San Isdro, and Cusco

Some of my thoughts --

- I'm not sure how cuy has gotten the noteriety that it has. Perhaps simply for the novelty. It seems to be something to eat to say one has eaten it, but when in the highlands go for some Pachamanca -- the preperation is fascinating and there's a lot more history to the dish.
- Most travelers don't spend enough time exploring local markets. They're not always the prettiest or most touristy spots, but trying bread, fruits, and some other "safe" items lets you see, experience, and literally taste the culture. The Mercado Central de San Pedro in Cusco is a good example.
- More places outside of Lima (Cusco & Arequipa for now) are offering cooking classes/guided market visits. It's a good alternative to going to another restaurant and is pretty comparable in price. Plus you get to taste all sorts of dishes.

Enjoy the flavors
Thanks for the sharing and I agree with you about the local markets.
I think the way that people feel about Cuy was mostly because of how it look and presented on the table!
knycx_journeying is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 13th, 2018, 05:52 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 3
My suggestion for another post about Peruvian food, Maido restaurant and Central restaurant. Currently they are the 2 tops of the city of Lima
nicole_b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 20th, 2018, 05:40 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 182
Originally Posted by nicole_b View Post
My suggestion for another post about Peruvian food, Maido restaurant and Central restaurant. Currently they are the 2 tops of the city of Lima
Thanks nicole_b, I would definitely be visiting Central again!
knycx_journeying is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:14 PM.