News - Dine out in Luxurious Lima
Rich and varied in natural resources with teeming oceans and highlands struck through with minerals, arguably Peru is today experiencing its own golden age. After centuries of exploitation, war and upheaval it’s now one of the world’s fastest growing economies and its success reflects, like it did many centuries ago, its varied geographical and climactic location.
Image by Pedro Szekely
The success story of that rich historical diversity is revealed in the current Western craze for Peruvian food. The fruits of the Andean highlands and the jungle, and cooking traditions that predate the Incas have over time interacted with flavours and influences of immigrant cultures from four continents. Here you can find echoes of the food of Spain, Basque, Africa, Asia, France, Italy and Britain.
In recent years Lima has produced an astonishing glut of culinary stars that have become the talk of the world’s great capitals. As a result, amidst the flower-filled parks of the city over-looking the ancient sun-dried mud brick ruins of Huaca Pucllana waits a serious culinary adventure that will tempt even the most passionate foodie.
Ceviche is of course, what started the craze. A zinging, citrus dish of the very freshest raw fish, onions, salt and coriander seasoned and spiced with ají or hot chilli. But it is in the exploration of fusion cuisine that Lima really enlightens. This is, after all, where Nobu began his career and the profusion of high-quality fresh fish in the region, from white-fleshed fish known as arapaima to swordfish, has given rise to Nikkei - Japanese-Peruvian cookery. The artistry and freshness of such dishes is equal to the world’s leading sushi purveyors. Tiradito, for example, is made from very thinly sliced fish, much like sashimi, and many other dishes incorporate ingredients such as soy, sesame oil, ginger lime juice and sushi.
The fashionable district of Miraflores, with its growing number of glossy beach-front properties, theatres, cinemas, art galleries and prestigious schools is the beating heart of this movement and offers a delightfully vibrant and varied dining culture. As night falls, throw on chic evening garb, sip pisco sour made with grape brandy and whipped egg whites and head off to one of these wonderful restaurants to begin your dining extravaganza:
“Located in the cosmopolitan district of Miraflores, Mesa 18 delivers an unforgettable experience in vanguard cuisine.” Enjoy Peruvian North style lamb stewed in coriander sauce, over bean alongside lime marinated fresh scallops with maca grated and flying fish roe.
The menu features Mediterranean and Asian influences with such delights as Thai stew with muscles, shrimps and squid and coconut milk or ‘grilled grouper a la vongole’.
Named one of the world’s top 50 restaurants Central has an open air kitchen, its own mini water bottling plant and some of the ingredients in your food will have been grown on the roof. The ‘Lines of Scallops’ appetizer is a highlight.
Astrid y Gaston
Another eatery that makes the world’s top 50 is the signature restaurant of globally phenomenon Gastón Acurio. It should be a rite of passage for any visitor and particularly those curious to try the famous Guinea Pig, which makes an appearance on the menu dressed as a Peking Duck!