Holidays in Lima (April 20 2010)

Breakfast on Tuesday was my usual quinoa with a splash of milk, cinnamon, a banana de seda*, almonds and a granadilla**.

My friend from school Marlene and I met in Hikari, a charcoal chicken restaurant that is supposed to have one of the best lomo saltados in Lima. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed, so we took a taxi and went to Don Bosco. It was packed, as usual, so we had to wait for a table. The good thing is that people having lunch there usually have to rush back to their offices, so they eat pretty quickly. Obviously, I ordered lomo saltado, one of my favourite creole dishes which has a strong Chinese influence. It’s a stir-fry made with tenderloin pieces, tomato and red onion wedges and julienned yellow chili, seasoned with soy sauce and vinegar (as happens with all dishes every cook makes their own version, mine includes garlic, pepper, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, red wine vinegar and oyster sauce). The sides are white rice and potato chips (French fries), and common garnishes are chopped spring onions, parsley or coriander (I prefer coriander). There’s a debate regarding the chips, some say they should be mixed with the stir-fry so that they arrive to the table moistened by the sauce, others say that chips should remain crisp on the side of the plate and that the diner should choose whether to mix them with the sauce or not. I prefer my chips wet and juicy.

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Marlene ordered tallarín saltado, basically a lomo saltado but served on top of pasta instead of rice and potato chips.

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We left the restaurant soon to leave room for more people to have lunch. We walked to San Antonio, a popular cafe in a suburb nearby. I had a café con leche (flat white) and a lúcuma** and chocolate tart. Marlene ordered a café americano (long black) and a passion fruit mousse; she had another coffee later. Marlene and her partner Jaime lived for two years in Sydney so there were plenty of things to talk about. We agreed to have dinner before I left Lima in a sushi restaurant called Hanzo, where Jaime works.

For dinner I had some leftovers in my aunties’ house: one tamalito verde***, a lettuce, cucumber, capsicum and avocado salad with lime juice, one humita dulce****, chicha morada*** and green tea.

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

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

*** The explanation about tamalito verde and chicha morada can be found here.

**** The explanation about humita dulce can be found here.

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