22 January 2020

Peru, 11 Years Later: The Food

Let me begin with the food. After all, my three weeks in the country was very colourful when it comes to the culinary elements. While everyone else was deriding Lima, planning to get out of it as soon as they get in, I spent a total of 4 nights in the city, 2 nights in the beginning, and another 2 nights in the end. I definitely took the time to discover the restaurant scene of the capital.

Let me see. I started with a ceviche mixto, pictured above, as found somewhere in Lima's Historic District. I arrived early in the morning. Thankfully, my guesthouse allowed me to check in early, so I was able to nap a little bit since I was tired after the long flight. And after a couple of hours of sleep, I headed out. It was just late morning, and after a few hours of sight-seeing, it was time for lunch.

Lima has a great fine-dining scene. I also had lunch at a restaurant called Amore, in Miraflores. I had a fancy interesting juice, a tuna tartare, followed by the first of several arroz con pato, or rice with duck, a very typical Peruvian dish.

Perhaps it was a large meal, so I only had cake in a jar and tea for dinner.

Moving on to Puno, I tried some exotic dishes, such as the Sopa Punena, which is quinoa soup, popular in the Puno area, as well as roasted cuy, or guinea pig.

I also tried a coca infusion, as well as lasagna made with alpaca.

I spent a total of 4 nights in the Puno and Lake Titicaca area. This was where I had my first Pisco Sour. I tried the local trout ceviche, fresh from the lake. And of course, their version of an osso buco.

After Puno, I moved on to Arequipa, which had quite a restaurant scene. On my first night, I had a modest dinner of roast pork loin.

Arequipa was where I bumped into the restaurants of Gaston Acurio. I must say, his creations are wonderful. I had eaten in several of his restaurants across Peru, first in the Restaurant Chicha, in Arequipa. I treated myself to a pre-meal cocktail, a Negroni Arequipena. I also had a tongue salad, followed by ravioli with river lobster. As a final touch, they gave me a couple of macarons.

That was a large lunch, so again, I just had cake for dinner.

The next day, I went to another Gaston Acurio restaurant, the Trattoria del Monasterio, right by the famous Monastery of Santa Catalina. I had a carpaccio followed by the osso buco.

I flew from Arequipa to Piura, via Lima. And while in transit, I had lunch in Gaston Acurio's Tanta, in Lima Airport. The above is his take on Peruvian-Chinese cuisine, known as Quinoa Airport.

Northern Peruvian cuisine is different from that in the south. The above are some of the meals I had in Piura and Catacaos, consisting of ceviche, fried fish, and tacu tacu, which is a combination of beans and rice.

I would encounter arroz con pato again and again in the north, it is after all, typical in this area. I also tried some desserts. The photos above are all from Chiclayo.

I moved on to Trujillo, still trying variations of arroz con pato, though every now and then I would get something more European as a break.

On my final evening in Trujillo, I went to El Celler de Cler, a restaurant with a nice balcony overlooking a central road in the historic centre. I had a Pisco Sour, asparagus soup, a meat ceviche, and caramelised bananas.

As I wrapped up my trip, I eventually ended up in Lima again, where I continued exploring the city's restaurants. There's this seafood restaurant called Barra Maretazo, which has great fresh offerings. I had octopus, as well as spaghetti with squid ink. They gave me a little preview of their food in the beginning.

The above are just some more items I had while in Lima: another cake, and a local version of breakfast.

I haven't been to the Amazon, yet I was able to check out an Amazonian restaurant, Amaz, in Miraflores. Virtually everything they have in their menu are items I have no clue about, since they use Amazonian ingredients. I got an interesting cocktail, some interesting vegetable for a starter, and a very tasty slab of fish. I rounded it up with coffee.

Finally, it was time to go home. This was my breakfast in Lima Airport. After dropping off my bags, I headed to Gaston Acurio's Tanta to get a croissant, some sausages and eggs, and a hot chocolate.

I must say, this trip was very tasty!

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