Holidays in Perú (July 18 2015)

Our only weekend in Lima was dedicated to old friends and family. Saturday was BBQ day, starting with lunch with my uni friends. We got to meet two cute new baby girls in the UPC (my first uni) family and spend a great afternoon with the gang.

Parrillada UPC

A bit of everything

Carnes

Meats

Parrillada UPC

Cooked veggies

Then we headed to the Buddhist centre, listened to teachings and enjoyed a post-midnight BBQ. We also got to spend the night in our old room, courtesy to its current inhabitant (thanks again, Patty!).

Arroz con pollo

Arroz con pollo

Alitas

Chicken wings

Holidays in Perú (July 17 2015)

As I discovered in this trip, my in-laws live surrounded by pretty good places to eat. There’s not one but three pollo a la brasa (charcoal chicken) restaurants, of which we visited La Leña. They sell other stuff but we were there to get our pollo a la brasa fix. It’s served with chips and your choice of salad: ensalada mi esposa (lettuce, tomato, carrot, radish and peas) for me and ensalada cocida (cooked green beans, beetroot, peas, carrots and broccoli, served on lettuce) for everyone else.

1/4 pollo

1/4 chicken

Ensalada cocida

Ensalada cocida

Ensalada Mi Esposa

Ensalada Mi Esposa

Salsas

Sauces

People say the thing to drink when eating pollo a la brasa is Inca Kola (the national soft drink), but we disagree. For us, chicha morada is better, either regular or frozen (like a slushie).

Chicha morada frozen

Chicha morada frozen

That night we went again to the Buddhist centre and had salchichapas (fried frankfurter and chips) in the canteen as dinner.

Salchipapas

Salchipapas

La Leña
Av. Bolívar 987, Pueblo Libre
Lima, Perú
2614174 -2623488
lalena.com.pe
On Facebook

Holidays in Perú (July 16 2015)

We went for lunch with mum and my sister’s husband to Catalina 555, a place that I had never heard of, but that was recommended by a friend. They do Peruvian food in big portions, designed to share.

Catalina 555

Catalina 555

We ordered lomo saltado a lo pobre (beef stir-fry, served with fried egg and fried plantain). They had used a small banana known as “plátano manzano” instead of sliced plantains, which I didn’t mind, but Alvaro seemed disappointed about the swap. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the dish.

Lomo saltado a lo pobre

Lomo saltado a lo pobre (S/. 45, $19.33)

Next came pato al ají (1/2 female duck cooked with chilies, served with cassava and rice with corn). This dish was also very flavourful, I would be hard-pressed to choose a favourite between this and the lomo.

Pato al ají

Pato al ají (S/. 65, $27.92)

Finally, we ordered the catch of the day, which happened to be lenguado (sole). We ordered it frito al ajo (fried with garlic), but failed to check if it was floured prior to frying. It was, so Alvaro and I had to refrain from eating the crunchy skin. I found the fish a bit on the dry side, which wasn’t a problem once I smothered it with the provided garlic-infused clarified butter.

Lenguado frito al ajo

Lenguado frito al ajo (S/. 100, $42.96)

That night we met some friends from a software development company I worked for a long time ago. We went to El Bolivariano, a restaurant/bar that is best known as an after-work drinks destination, but that does fairly good Peruvian food, too.

El Bolivariano

They had 2×1 chilcanos, so I had one with ciruela and one with aguaymanto (both native fruits).

Chilcano de ciruela

Chilcano de ciruela (S/. 12.50, $5.37)

Chilcano de aguaymanto

Chilcano de aguaymanto (S/. 12.50, $5.37)

My friends ordered some sharing platters, for example piqueo Precursor with anticuchos (marinated beef heart), cassava and tamalito verde (made with corn and coriander).

Piqueo Precursor

Piqueo Precursor (S/. 34, $14.60)

The waiter forgot our order and when we ordered again, he said they didn’t have what we wanted. We ended up having a jamón and a chicharrón sandwich, both without bread, and a ensalada de legumbres (cooked vegetable salad). More than enough for both of us.

Jamón

Jamón (S/. 12, $5.15)

Chicharrón

Chicharrón (S/. 13, $5.58)

Ensalada de legumbres

Ensalada de legumbres

Alvaro had eyed the dessert table but we didn’t have space for any, fortunately.

Postres

Desserts

Catalina 555
Av. Santa Catalina 555, La Victoria
Lima, Perú
51 1 637 2659 / 51 1 637 2689
On Facebook

El Bolivariano
Calle Rosa Toledo 291, Pueblo Libre
Lima, Perú
51 1 261 9565
elbolivariano.com

Holidays in Perú (July 15 2015)

July 15th was our friend Javier’s birthday. We had lunch with him and other friends at Emilio & Gladys, a low-key restaurant that specialises in conchas negras (black scallops).

As usual, we were served cancha and chifles (roasted maize kernels and fried plantain chips) that were refilled multiple times during our visit.

Cancha y chifles

Cancha and chifles

As I mentioned, the thing here is conchas negras. That day, they had 2 kinds of cebiche: black scallops with prawns, and black scallops with clams. I ordered a cebiche with prawns, which came in a bowl with plenty of shellfish and great flavour.

Cebiche de conchas negras y langostinos

Cebiche de conchas negras y langostinos (S/. 20, $8.60)

Alvaro’s stomach was still playing up, so he opted for the only hot meal available that day: arroz con conchas negras (rice with black scallops). I normally don’t give a damn about rice, but this dish was sublime. I probably ate half of Alvaro’s plate. It was that good.

Arroz con conchas negras

Arroz con conchas negras (S/. 20, $8.60)

As if we hadn’t eaten enough, that night we caught up with my friends from school. We went to Manifiesto, a Peruvian-fusion restaurant that encourages shared meals. We got some native tuber chips to nibble on while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Chips

Chips

I had a drink called peruanita with pisco acholado, pisco mosto verde, lime, orange, coconut and chicha morada (purple corn drink). Very sweet and not too strong. Alvaro had a limonada de coco y hierbaluisa (coconut and lemongrass limeade). We’ve noticed it’s popular to offer flavoured limeades in Peruvian restaurants these days.

Peruanita

Peruanita (S/. 24, $10.32)

Limonada de coco y hierbaluisa

Limonada de coco y hierbaluisa (S/. 10, $4.30)

Other drinks at the table included the classic pisco sour (pisco, lime, egg white, syrup, bitters), and the dessert-style beso perfecto (vodka, Amaretto, Kahlua, coconut, milk).

Pisco sour

Pisco sour (S/. 22, $9.46)

Beso perfecto

Beso perfecto (S/. 28, $12.04)

The food includes the chef’s spin on both Peruvian and international dishes. I’ve heard he was trained in Barcelona, and has incorporated some Spanish influence in the menu. For example, salchipapas de chistorra gratinada is a version of our humble fast food meal of potato chips and fried frankfurters, made with Andean tumbay potatoes, the Spanish cured sausage called chistorra and melted Cheddar cheese.

Salchipapas de chistorra gratinada

Salchipapas de chistorra gratinada (S/. 26, $11.18)

The alitas BBQ andinas (chicken wings with a BBQ sauce made with ají panca, a Peruvian red chili) were served with a blue cheese sauce and they looked great, but were unfortunately not gluten-free (they were crumbed).

Alitas BBQ andinas

Alitas BBQ andinas (S/. 24, $10.32)

The pastel de choclo en salsa de ají amarillo y setas con toques de anís y ajonjolí tostado (corn pie in yellow chilli and mushroom sauce flavoured with aniseed and toasted sesame) was very tasty, but a bit too sweet for my taste. Also, the sauce was not only yellow chili but, as explained by the waiter, ají de gallina sauce, a dish made with bread soaked in milk. Not gluten-free either. I should have asked before ordering.

Pastel de choclo en salsa de ají amarillo y setas

Pastel de choclo en salsa de ají amarillo y setas (S/. 24, $10.32)

Pesque de quinua negra y cordero (creamy polenta-like quinoa with tender lamb slices) was a first for me, and I really liked it, thanks to its great texture and flavour.

Pesque de quinua negra y cordero

Pesque de quinua negra y cordero (S/. 40, $17.19)

Last but not least, the lomo saltado Manifiesto, a more refined version of our traditional beef stir-fry, was the highlight of the night.

Lomo saltado Manifiesto

Lomo saltado Manifiesto (S/. 34, $14.61)

Emilio & Gladys
Jr. Risso 539, Lince
Lima, Perú

Manifiesto
Independencia 130, Miraflores
Lima, Perú
51 1 546 0201
www.manifiesto.pe

Holidays in Perú (July 14 2015)

Back in Lima we resumed our regular activities: gym in the morning, then eat, eat, and eat. We had been in Perú for 2 weeks already, so it was safe to do things separately. Alvaro had lunch with a friend and I with my ex-coworkers from Ernst & Young at Señor Limón, a seafood restaurant with a few shops in the city. I finished a bowl of the traditional cancha while I waited for my friends to arrive.

Cancha

Cancha

I ordered a combinado criollo, a mix of tiradito al rocoto (sliced raw fish marinated in lime and served with red chili sauce), causa rellena de pulpa de cangrejo (spiced mashed potato filled with crab meat, avocado and mayo, and cebiche mixto (fish and shelfish marinated with lime juice, onion and chili). It was huge and spectacular. Highly recommended.

Combinado criollo

Combinado criollo (S/. 58, $25.00)

Other dishes ordered in the table where pez espada a la parrilla con risotto (grilled swordfish served with risotto), chicharrón de pescado (fish nuggets), cebiche Señor Limón (raw fish marinated in lime juice and served with eel sauce), matrimonio de causa y cebiche (spiced mashed potato filled with crab meat, avocado and mayo), and raw fish marinated with lime juice, onion and chili), and parrilla marina con risotto (grilled seafood served with risotto).

Pez espada a la parrilla con risotto

Pez espada a la parrilla con risotto

Chicharrón de pescado

Chicharrón de pescado

Cebiche Señor Limón

Cebiche Señor Limón

Matrimonio de causa y cebiche

Matrimonio de causa y cebiche (S/. 35, $14.96)

Parrilla marina con risotto

Parrilla marina con risotto

That night we went to the Buddhist centre and listened to teachings by a Canadian travel teacher.

Señor Limón
Av. Conquistadores 399, San Isidro
Lima, Perú
(511) 221-8327
www.senorlimon.com

Holidays in Perú (July 13 2015)

Our days in Cajamarca went by very quickly. On our last day, Alvaro was still a bit sick but I managed to get him out of bed. After some chicken soup for breakfast, we walked to a hill that has a great view of the city. Then we headed back home for lunch. Alvaro was craving bistec a lo pobre (beef steak with rice, fried egg and fried plantain), and he got a healthier homemade version: the eggs were cooked with no fat, and the plantain was boiled.

Bistec a lo pobre

Bistec a lo pobre

We flew in the afternoon back to Lima. We had been invited for dinner to another aunty’s house. They served salad, chicken, potatoes, roast beef, rice, and arroz con leche for dessert. All very tasty and made with love. I liked the dessert a lot because it wasn’t too sweet and it had been cooked with orange peel.

Salad, chicken, potatoes, beef, rice

Salad, chicken, potatoes, beef, rice

Arroz con leche

Arroz con leche

Holidays in Perú (July 12 2015)

On Sunday some of us had chancho rostizado (roasted pork) and coffee for breakfast. Alvaro was sick as a dog in bed, and his aunty was not very well either.

Chancho rostizado

Chancho rostizado

Alvaro’s uncle works in a mine and he had organised a visit for us. Alvaro couldn’t make it, so I went with my brother-in-law. They explained us all the processing that takes place up there. Very interesting stuff.

Planta de proceso

Processing plant

We spent all morning and part of the afternoon in and around the mine. It was higher than the city; we could feel our bodies reacting to the altitude. Back in the city, we opted for a light lunch: the traditional soup called caldo verde, a clear broth with local herbs, potatoes, cheese and egg. They say it’s good against parasites. I can’t say for sure but it was exactly what we needed at the moment. BTW, the cheap and cheerful restaurant where we ate it is called Señorío Cajamarquino and it’s very close to the main square.

Señorío Cajamarquino

Caldo verde

Caldo verde (S/. 6, $2.59)

After lunch and taking a nap, we headed to Baños del Inca, a very popular thermal baths place. We waited perhaps for 30 minutes in order to get in, but it was worth it. After a very relaxing bath we took a massage and were almost ready for bed. Except that we were a bit hungry, so we headed back to the main square for dinner. We landed by chance at a very good foreigner-friendly restaurant: Don Paco. My brother-in-law could eat exactly what he was craving: a burger with bacon and chips. I had another caldo verde, more substantial and slightly more expensive than the one before (S/. 10, $4.31).

Señorío Cajamarquino
Jr. Del Batan 161
Cajamarca, Perú

Don Paco
Amalia Puga 726
Cajamarca, Perú
(076) 36 2655

Holidays in Perú (July 11 2015)

We had booked a couple of tours for Saturday in Cajamarca. Before heading off, Alvaro’s aunty made us scrambled eggs with salchicha de Huacho (Huacho sausage) and coffee. One of my favourite breakfasts ever.

Salchicha de huacho

Salchicha de Huacho

The morning tour was to Cumbemayo, a sort of valley with rocky mountains that have peculiar forms if you really try (or have an artistic eye or a good smoke).

Bosque de piedras Cumbemayo

Rock forest in Cumbemayo

The locals sell pork chicharrón and choclo (white corn). They fry the chicharrón in oil that has been reused many times (as opposed to the fat rendered from simmering the pork), resulting in unappealing burnt meat pieces. Needless to say, we didn’t try it.

Chicharrón, choclo

Chicharrón, choclo

We also saw a woman picking wheat the old way. I’d be willing to bet that wheat prepared the traditional way does not cause as much trouble as modern industrialised wheat products.

Escogiendo trigo

Picking wheat

There were food vendors along the way selling corn, olluco (a tuber), boiled eggs, etc.

Food vendors

Food vendors

We went back home for lunch: very tasty homemade beef stew and salad.

Guiso de carne, ensalada

Beef stew, salad

The afternoon tour included a visit to a dairy products shop. We tried a few cheeses and manjar blanco (Peruvian caramel).

Quesos

Cheeses

Manjar blanco

Manjar blanco

Then we went to La Colpa, an old farm where they call dairy cows by their name and (most of them) go to their designated grazing spot. As usual, there were people selling cheap local food. We tried quesillo con miel (fresh cheese with chancaca syrup, a type of caramel-tasting cane sugar) that costed S/. 1. Alvaro confessed that he had been stomach-sick since we landed in Cajamarca, but still bought a manjar blanco lollipop, also for S/. 1. Bad idea.

Quesillo con miel

Quesillo con miel (S/. 1, $0.43)

The next stop was a couple of tiny waterfalls. There were food vendors in town selling fruits, cachangas (fried round flat pastries), dulce de calabaza (pumpkin pudding), mazamorra morada (purple corn pudding) and arroz con leche (rice pudding). I bought a “combinado” (mazamorra morada and arroz con leche) for S/. 1.

Watermelons

Watermelons

Cachangas

Cachangas

Fruit

Fruit

Mazamorra & arroz con leche

Mazamorra & arroz con leche (S/. 1)

Holidays in Perú (July 10 2015)

Our second domestic trip was to Cajamarca to visit Alvaro’s uncle, who works there. My mother-in-law made us pork chicharrón and yuca (cassava) for breakfast that morning.

Chicharrón con yuca

Chicharrón con yuca

Alvaro’s aunty and brother picked us up from the airport and took us to the house, where his uncle was waiting for us. We caught up with a glass of whisky and later went out for a walk. Alvaro made us stop to eat cremolada de lúcuma (like a fruit slushie) on the street that costed 1 sol ($0.43). This was the beginning of the end for him.

Cremoladas

Cremoladas

Then we visited el cuarto de rescate, where one of the Incas offered gold to the Spanish in exchange of freedom. We also visited a church and the plaza de armas (main square).

Cuarto de rescate

Cuarto de rescate

Plaza de armas

Plaza de armas

Later we went for dinner to D’Cava & Parrillas, close to the main square. We ordered a family-size grill that included chorizo, morcilla, steak, chicken, pork, mushrooms, chips and salad, all washed down with a good red. Good stuff.

Meats

Meats

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Chips

Chips

Salad

Salad

Then we headed to Usha Usha, a bohemian bar where a father and son duo sing their original tunes with a guitar and a cajón. We listened to them while sipping anisado, a digestive aniseed liquor.

Usha Usha

D’Cava & Parrillas
Jr. del Comercio 782
Cajamarca, Perú
(076) 314 294
On Facebook

Usha Usha
Jr. Amalia Puga 214
Cajamarca, Perú
976709373
On Facebook

Holidays in Perú (July 9 2015)

Our friends Victor and Vivi, who live in Belgium, happened to be in Lima at the same time as us. We met for lunch at ámaZ, a gourmet spin on food from the jungle by Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, who also owns Malabar.

ámaZ

There was a jar of ajíes encurtidos (pickled chilies) and salsa criolla on the table to spice up the food.

Ajíes encurtidos

Ajíes encurtidos

Salsa criolla

Salsa criolla

Most dishes come in two sizes: whole and half. We ordered a half serve of cecina a la grilla (salted and dried pork tenderloin served with majado – cooked plantain that is mashed and mixed with pork chicharrón). A more refined version of the classic “cecina con tacacho”, very tasty but not for big appetites.

Cecina a la grilla

Cecina a la grilla (S/. 48, $20.43 for 1/2 serve)

We also shared a half serve of abruto tu paiche (grilled river fish served on a mash made with a fruit called “aguaje”, with chorizo and sweet chili sauce). Again, nice flavours, delicate presentation but not huge.

Abruto tu paiche

Abruto tu paiche (S/. 75, $31.93 for 1/2 serve)

Later on we met Alvaro’s kung fu teacher for a chat and a snack. We went to Don Belisario, a Peruvian BBQ chicken/grill franchise. Alvaro and I shared a plate of anticuchos (marinated cow heart, served with potatoes and corn). Not bad.

Anticuchos

Anticuchos (S/. 15.90, $6.77)

Then we went to the Buddhist centre and had post-meditation drinks at our regular: Huaringas Bar.

Huaringas

We had a few chilcanos (a drink made traditionally with pisco, ginger ale, lime juice and bitters). We tried a few flavours: brujo de camu camu (quebranta pisco infused with coca leafs with a fruit called camu camu), sauco (a berry), mandarina & kión (mandarin & ginger), and aguaymanto & hierbabuena (a fruit called aguaymanto & mint). All delish.

Chilcanos

Chilcanos (S/. 22, $9.36 each)

Nibbles included yuquitas (cassava in slices, chips and balls) and anticuchos. Good stuff.

Yuquitas

Yuquitas

Anticuchos

Anticuchos

ámaZ
Av. la Paz 1079, Miraflores
(01) 221 9393
amaz.com.pe

Don Belisario Miraflores – 28 de Julio
Av. 28 de Julio 1005
(01) 628 4771
belisario22@ngr.com.pe
www.donbelisario.com.pe

Huaringas Bar
Ovalo Bolognesi 460, Miraflores
(01) 243 8151
reservas@huaringas.com
huaringas.com