Sadly, my last day in Lima had arrived. Gloria had boiled eggs for us, we ate them with some botija olives, leftover fried sweet potato, and a chapana I had bought at the market. This was the only Peruvian dessert I honestly craved, so I bought one at the market to share with my sister. It’s made of cassava, chancaca (molasses), and aniseed, wrapped in banana leaf and steamed. It is sticky and insanely delicious. I’ll have a recipe for it in the blog sometime in the future.
I met my Buddhist friends Manuel and Rashid for lunch, in a restaurant that was on my wish list for this trip: Lima 27. The house bread is served in a cute artisan-looking sack. Of course I didn’t have any but I did taste the olive butter that came along with it. Subtle but nice.
We were served an amuse-bouche of Crocante de paiche con ají amarillo, paiche (a river fish) and yellow chilli roulade. It was crumbed and fried, so I proceeded to remove its shell to give it a try. It had a nice, very delicate flavour.
Crocante de paiche con ají amarillo
Manuel works close to the restaurant, so he knew how to perfectly navigate the menu. He also knew we had to share Los 3 ceviches, three martini glasses containing nikkei (with soy sauce and sesame oil), traditional (lime juice and chilli only), and coriander (with squid) cebiches. They were all equally good for me.
Los 3 ceviches (S/. 38, around $)
Manuel ordered a dish that is part of the degustation menu that has a simple name Conejo (rabbit) but looks rather complex. Apart from the confit rabbit it had “open face” pea, mascarpone & botija olive ravioli, and almond & sage butter. The rabbit was super tasty.
Conejo (S/. 45, around $)
As per Manuel’s suggestion, Rashid had Fideuá de aquí y de allá, fideuá being a sort of risotto or paella, but made with angel hair pasta instead of rice. This one came with yellow chilli aioli, prawns, calamari, scallops, mero (a white flesh sea fish) and chicken. It was huge and looked amazing. Rashid struggled to finish it, I helped by trying the aioli which was superb.
Fideuá de aquí y de allá (S/., around $)
I chose Surf’s Up, grilled mero and prawns with artichoke textures, and crunchy baby spinach & cherry tomato salad. The waiter poured some black hen stock on my plate at the table. Despite the cheesy name the dish was quite tasty.
Surf’s up (S/., around $)
I spent the rest of the day with my family. I did a quick trip to the market to buy some fruit that I knew I’d miss: granadilla (physically similar to passionfruit but sweet and not sour), plátano manzano (“apple” banana, small and delicious) and plátano de la isla (island banana, with an orange flesh that is yummy either raw or cooked). Mum threw in a mandarin and that was afternoon tea for me.
Granadilla, plátano manzano, plátano de la isla
Mum cooked dinner for the family that night. As I’ve said many times before, she’s a great cook, but unfortunately she had been very busy taking care of dad and I didn’t get to eat her food until that night. She made sancochado, a soup made with a variety of meats, vegetables and tubers. This time she used ossobuco, cabbage, celery, carrots, and onions for the broth and served it with cassava, sweet potato, yellow potato, and corn.
She also served a variety of sauces (bought in the supermarket) to go with the tubers: huancaína (yellow chilli, milk, cheese, and soda crackers), huacatay (black mint), ají de la casa (the supermarket’s signature chilli sauce), rocoto (very hot red chilli), ají amarillo (yellow chilli), chimichurri, and ají parrillero (BBQ chilli sauce).
Given that it was 8 pm and my flight was at 2 am I pigged out on sancochado. It was the perfect last meal in Lima.