Holidays in Perú (17 July 2012, Lima)

I had bought a couple of lúcumas at the market. Lúcuma is a wonderful fruit with a shiny thin green skin that ruptures when it ripens.

Lúcuma

Lúcuma, unpeeled

The flesh is orange and doesn’t have much water, that’s why it’s mostly used in drinks and desserts and not eaten on its own. It has one or more big brown seeds, similar to the ones found in avocados.

Lúcuma

Lúcuma, innards

I made a smoothie with some cream we hadn’t used and water. It was thick as hell, so we had to use spoons to finish it off (we didn’t have any straws).

Lúcuma & cream smoothie

Lúcuma & cream smoothie

The rest of breakfast was bacon, eggs, and broccoli, a classic.

At noon I went to visit my old friend Julio. We’ve shared a great deal of music equipment and experiences over the years (he’s a great guitarist). As we have done many times before, we walked along the harbour and then headed to Tanta, another Gastón Acurio restaurant. This is one of those places that I don’t mind visiting again and again because it’s that good and has enough variety to be able to try new stuff every time.

For example, I was in the mood for fish, and even when this is no cebichería they did have Tiradito dos cremas, thinly sliced fish with ají amarillo (yellow chilli) y rocoto (a very spicy red chilli) sauces. It’s not the best tiradito I’ve ever had but it was damn good.

Tiradito dos cremas

Tiradito dos cremas (S/. 26, around $9.50)

Julio, on the other hand, is not very fond of fish. He does like what we call comida criolla, Peruvian native cuisine with other influences (mainly Spanish). He ordered Tallarines caseros, spaghetti with Lima-style pesto (I assume they put some chilli in it, probably spinach too), covered with a tenderloin schnitzel. His meal was huge, he struggled until the end but simply couldn’t finish. He said it was great, though.

Tallarines caseros

Tallarines caseros (S/. 39, around $14.20)

We had also ordered a salad to share, the Ensalada abuelita (granny salad) with roasted turkey breast, apples, eggs, palm hearts, raisins, avocado, bacon, organic lettuce and curried vinagrette. Delicious and also huge. I ended up eating most of it (my main was small!)

Ensalada abuelita

Ensalada abuelita (S/ 29, around $10.60)

Then we headed to San Antonio, a bakery/cafe across the road for coffee. I had an americano for a change, and Julio a moka.

Americano, moka

Americano (S/. 4, around $1), moka (S/. 9, around $3.30)

After lunch we walked to Parque Kennedy, a very popular park in the heart of Miraflores district (where I spent the whole day, now that I think about it). There’s a small market in the centre of the park (with everything from jewelry to antique items), and several food carts around. We met Gladys there and Julio left.

Gladys was not feeling very well, she thought she needed some fuel and bought a champús (a thick spiced drink made of maize, pineapple, quince, and guanábana, a fruit similar to custard apple) from one of the carts.

Butifarras y champús

Butifarras & champús

I had a dinner date with my dear school friends Jessica, Katya, Karina and Patty. Because Gladys had to meet with a friend later on the night, I told her to join us in Saqra while she waited.

The decoration at Saqra is awesome. It’s stylish and casual at the same time, very colourful (which is not exactly my thing) and cosy. The best part: everything is on sale.

Saqra

Saqra

We started things off with some pisco cocktails: Chilcano de mamey (pisco, ginger ale, mamey, and bitters) for me, Pisco punch (pisco, pineapple syrup, lime juice, bitters) for Jessica and Patty, Algarrobina (pisco, milk, crème de cacao, carob syrup, egg yolk) for Karina, and orange juice for the hungover Katya. Most cocktails are S/.15 (around $5.50), except for chilcanos that are S/. 18 (around $6.50).

Orange juice, algarrobina, pisco punch, mamey chilcano

Orange juice, algarrobina, pisco punch, mamey chilcano (S/. 30, around $10.90)

The menu looked so good that I convinced Gladys to stay and tell her friend to come along. So she did, and we shared the huge table we were in. Gladys and Charo had non-alcoholic drinks, too. Notice that most drinks are served in cool cut bottles.

Strawberry juice, maracuyá juice

Strawberry juice, passionfruit juice

Although we had already seen each other the week before (at dad’s wake) we still had plenty of things to talk about. All that conversation made us hungry, so ordering a couple of entrées became a necessity. Chicharrón de pollo, chicken morsels marinated with toasted salt, Chinese spice, lime juice and chilli, fried and served with a sauce made with yellow chilli, red onions and green onions, makes a perfect bar snack.

Chicharrón de pollo

Chicharrón de pollo (S/. 30, around $10.90)

We also shared Conchas a la parmesana, scallops that are baked in their shells with Parmesan cheese and butter (recipe here). In this restaurant they add orange juice and pisco to the mix. They were as fabulous as they look.

Conchitas a la parmesana

Conchas a la parmesana (S/. 28, around $10.20)

Karina and Jessica ordered Anticuchos de lomo fino, two tenderloin skewers marinated in traditional anticucho (recipe here) sauce with confit potatoes, sweet potato shoestring fries and ocopa sauce (made with chillies, milk, cheese, a herb called huacatay and peanuts). Jessica ordered hers well done and Karina medium rare, but apparently they screwed up the plates in the kitchen. The flavour was amazing, though.

Anticuchos de lomo

Anticuchos de lomo fino (S/. 35, around $12.80)

Patty had Lomo a la pimienta molle, a tenderloin steak with a black pepper, molle pepper, pisco and cream sauce, and served with confit potatoes. This one was very tasty, too.

Lomo con pimienta de molle

Lomo a la pimienta molle (S/. 42, around $15.20)

Katya had Bife angosto a la parrilla, grilled striploin served with potato chips and chimichurri. Do I need to say more?

Bife angosto a la parrilla

Bife angosto a la parrilla (S/. 44, around $16)

Gladys, Charo and I had the same dish (I swear I ordered it first!), which was also the only non-beef main of the night: Pez espada con majado de yuca, grilled swordfish steak, marinated in the restaurant’s secret BBQ sauce, and served on top of Northern-style cassava majado (cooked, mashed, and cooked again, usually with fat). The plate also had a nice mild rocoto jam smeared on. The dish was good but the swordfish was overcooked, which did some significant damage to the dish in my opinion.

Pez espada con majado de yuca

Pez espada con majado de yuca (S/. 38, around $13.90)

Service was good, but slow. It helped that we were on incredibly comfortable furniture, and that we had no rush.

Tanta
Av. 28 de Julio 888
Miraflores, Lima, Perú
(511) 447 8377

San Antonio
Av. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa 770
Miraflores, Lima, Perú
www.pasteleriasanantonio.com

Saqra
La Paz 646
Miraflores, Lima, Perú
(511) 650 8884
www.saqra.pe


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