Day 55- 16 March 2017: Spreading my knife and fork in Lima

Spanish phrase for the day: The food capital of South America! – La comida capital del America de Sud

So you know me by now. I arrived in Lima and heard that this was the food capital of South America. That this was the place to go of I was looking for some food magic. Because I have such a short amount of time here, I am trying and reporting on everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. So in other words, this is not a list of only the good. I have had to give feedback on everything I have tried. Just for you… so here goes.

Panadería El Pan De La Chola

Reason to go: Desayuno or coffee or a snack (well for anything!)

Ok so first morning on my own and you know me- gotta get eating. I stumbled across this absolute gem of a place and within seconds of stepping in I was sold. Firstly their menu is full of my favourite things- home made breads, avocado and drum rolllll- humous!! Do you know how long I’ve been wishing for humous! I ordered, sat at the counter with my cappuccino and people watched. This place is cool, hip, clean and absolutely delicious. I think I will be coming here at least once a day. It’s the kind of place you can go with your laptop, order a freshly squeezed juice in a jar, or great Monmouth bean coffee, and sip while you type, write or read. Great for breakfast, lunch or just a snack- this ones a winner!

La Mar Cebichería

Av Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores

Reason to go: amazing lunch spot if you are after fresh fish and seafood

OK, so remember I was in Buenos Aires and I posted the dreamy picture from that Peruvian restaurant- La Mar?! Well I found its big brother. The original! In Lima. And oh my goodness… was it as amazing (if not better). Guys this is fish and cocktail Mecca! Only open in the day for lunch, so that fish and seafood is fresh and of the highest quality. Busy, vibey and absolutely delicious. I arrived and sat at the counter in front of the barmen working their magic. Started chatting to another lone ranger at the bar. Jay from New York. And a solo lunch experience became a 2 and a half hour tasting heaven. Trout and avocado in a sauce of lemon and artichokes, with crispy sushi to seal the deal. Jay had a ceviche party- I don’t even know the assortment that was in front of him, but whatever it was looked insane. 3 different cocktails- all of which were a treat. If you want to have a great lunch, in an awesome environment, this is the place to go.

Tragaluz at the Belmond Miraflores

Reason to go: to eat top notch food while you enjoy the scenery of a beautiful garden terrace

The Belmond hotel is the place to go to be seen. Gorgeous people. Gorgeous setting and amazing food. I went here after a full day of eating, so it was just one dish for me. But the one dish I did have has made me think this place is on my list of restaurants to go back to. Grilled tuna steak and vegetables on a bed of pasta, with wait for it… tho green curry sauce! If that does not scream creative fusion meals I don’t know what does!

Inside the hotel there is also a great bar. On weekends it pumps. So make your night a two in one by just coming here. Located right in central Miraflores towards the beachfront promenade, this is an obvious go to!

Huaca Pucllana

Cdra 8, Calle General Borgoño, Distrito de Lima 15074, Peru

Reason to go: You have to take your in-laws out for dinner? Because that’s so possible as a traveller/ holiday-maker?! Not really.

Hmmm I don’t know how I feel about this place. because I am here for such a short time I need to give you a review about everything that I have tasted here, not only the highlights. This was recommended by a lot of travel sites and by a local we met while watching surfers get dunked by waves. But I don’t know how I felt about it. I couldn’t quite suss out the vibe. We went on a Monday night and it was packed. So that was a plus. But in terms of the crowd, it was much older and a little too serious for my liking. Set in the landscape of ancient pyramids this place gets an A+ for setting. But in terms of vibe and the food I could recommend better. Basically if you’re above the age of 60 and you want a nice place to go, go here. If you’re young and looking for a great atmosphere with food that has an edge, go somewhere else. No ageism intended! I love restaurants but as far as I am concerned, this place scores a 7/10. So not the place to go if you are short of time or looking for an experience!

Rafael

Calle San Martin 300, Miraflores, Lima

Reason to go: Men in suits. hot men in suits. And if you’re a man, put on a suit ;)

Naaah just joking, I don’t think a suit is necessary, but I came here on a Wednesday for lunch… and it was the place to be. I said I was happy to sit and eat anywhere, as the restaurant was full. So off I went, in front of the bar… perfect people watching place. You know you’re in the right place when suits are drinking cocktails and ordering bottles of wine while lunching. I would say its like Cicconnis in London. That’s the crowd. So after chatting my waiter Jean- a great guy originally from Portugal who has worked with all the top chefs in the world, including Gordon Ramsay, claims that Rafael is THE BEST peruvian Chef in the world. Woth other restaurants in Lima and Colombia.

I had been on the website earlier when I was choosing where to go. So as soon as I walked in I recognised Rafael walking around. And then I was sold. After I finished sipping on my Aperol Spritz in the bar area, Jean, now my friend said he would organise small portions of everything so I could taste more and have a proper ‘Rafael’ experience. I didn’t know what he would bring me - that was the catch. I told him what I absolutely would not eat and what I would be OK trying… and so it started.

Guys I felt like a judge on Masterchef. wow this solo thing is fun! And so I did. To start, a taco with avocado salsa, bean puree and grouper fish. Hold on while I tuck in! Wow. And a small portion of lemon sole prepared with avocado, I don’t really want to know what else. But I just went with it, and it was fresh, tart and amazing. A ravioli that with cheese and truffle in a butter sauce. Wow I’m glad the beaches in Lima are a drive away… as I will probably need to avoid those for a while. The highlight restaurant of my Lima restaurant hopping!

El Mercado

Av Hipólito Unanue 203, Miraflores

Reason to go: Because you are cool, hip and love a good restaurant vibe any time of the day- and I told you to :)

Let me set the scene. Awesome music. A huge selection wine that surpass the Southern Hemisphere. Hello Pouilly-Fumé and Côtes de Provence rosé! Yes French whites and rose’s are my weakness. Dessert heaven and fish central. I want to tell you more about El Mercado. Later and only after exploring the city, did I find out that this is one of Rafael Osterling’s restaurants. No wonder I loved it. I ordered wine and churros with ice cream, dulce de leche and chocolate sauce. I sat at the bar counter and watched as people chatted, frank and happily ate until about 5pm. So this is more of a leisurely lunch spot than an eat and run. I didn’t sample any of the dishes but I snapped some shots for you. Feast your eyes on these! A top pick in Lima for sure.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Out of Office’s story.