Holidays in Lima (April 19 2010)

On Monday I had a banana de seda* and a granadilla* before training, and a lúcuma** shake (with milk) after training, super tasty!

That day I had lunch with my friend Christian from uni. We had lunch in a Japanese restaurant called Osaka, quite expensive but really good. We chose several dishes to share: sashimi Osaka (salmon, bonito and octopus) served with threads of carrot, causitas* with crab meat and avocado, nigiri sushi Osaka (prawn, sole and tuna) and tiradito 2 olivos (octopus sashimi with black olive sauce and green olive sauce), served with crispy wonton noodles and a little salad.

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Besides from shoyu, gari and eel sauce, we were served a complimentary pickled turnip and seaweed salad. I had a couple of beers, Christian had only water. The food was awesome, definitely you can find better sashimi and sushi in Lima than in Sydney because seafood is way tastier.

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We had room for something else, between another dish and dessert we chose the savoury option: balsamic teriyaki beef tenderloin with fried fan si noodles and mashed potatoes, also very yummy. We were full but not stuffed, because everything we ate was pretty healthy (except for the beers).

That night I had dinner with my friend Jessica from school, we went to Panchita, an anticuchería, ie a restaurant that specialises in anticuchos, beef heart pieces in a skewer, marinated in vinegar, oil, chili and herbs, and grilled. You can make anticuchos with other cuts of beef (tenderloin is popular), chicken, fish, etc. This restaurant was created by Gastón Acurio, the most influential chef in history of my country, who is making Peruvian cuisine known in the rest of the world. We first ordered our drinks, I had a pisco cocktail called “Qué buenos mangos” (damned good mangoes), Jessica had a granadilla juice.

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Then the complimentary bread rolls and focaccias arrived, which are so big and tasty that together with the chili sauce and herbed butter can easily be considered a meal. In Panchita is impossible (at least for me) not to eat the bread to make room for the food, it’s just too good. And you have to make the most of the money you pay for cover (13 soles per head).

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As a main I ordered a dish with a lengthy name, very common in Gastón’s restaurants: “el pato de la abuela norteña guisado con naranja agria y ají sobre pepián de choclo” (something like granny from the North’s duck stewed in sour orange and chili over corn pepián). Pepián is made with puréed corn seasoned with onion, garlic, chili and coriander. Jessica ordered anticucho de corazón (beef heart anticucho), with the typical sides: papa dorada (potatoes that have been boiled, skinned, halved and deep fried) and boiled corn off the cob. Both dishes were espectacular and the portions were generous, as the restaurant’s creator would say.

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We didn’t have dessert, but it was early and we wanted to continue chatting, so we decided to go for coffee somewhere else. We went to Starbucks first (I met an ex-colleague there) but it was packed. Then we went to Café Z, I had a capuccino and Jessica a café americano (long black).

* The explanation about the types of bananas and causa can be found here.

** The explanation about granadilla and lúcuma can be found here.

*** The explanation about pisco can be found here.