WOWed by the culinary scene in Lima

I’ll confess. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Peruvian cuisine, although I had heard it was good and gaining global attention. I wasn’t just impressed. I was WOWed by the culinary scene in Lima.

During our few days of chocolate travel in the Peruvian capital, we visited a good variety of restaurants in Lima and did not have one meal that I didn’t enjoy. Some wowed me more than others, but all were all creative, enticing and satisfying.

favourite restaurants in Lima, Peru

Our first visit was to one of our host Giovanna’s personal favourites: Delcino Mar Pescados y Mariscos, an informal fish and seafood where friends gather to enjoy libations and culinary masterpieces that are simple, yet expertly prepared and presented.

ceviche-at-Delcino-Mar-Pescados-y-Mariscos

The ceviche at Delcino Mar Pescados y Mariscos was amazing.

You’ll find this resto in Miraflores at 509 Avenue Jorge Chavez. I highly recommend the classic ceviche, which was made from seniorita fish seasoned with cilantro and red onions. I also loved the conchitas a la parmesana, similar to a coquilles St. Jacques with parmesan. The prices are reasonable, the service excellent and the atmosphere unpretentious, making it one of my favourite meals while in Lima.

It was cool having dinner at Central Restaurante, a restaurant owned by chef Virgilio Martinez. I had been referred to Central  as it is rated one of Peru’s best restaurants. Virgilio is passionate about chocolate, and he trained in Ottawa, Canada, making it a natural connection for visiting Canadians. We were treated to a beautifully presented 12-course meal, matched with wonderful wines and libations specially selected by our handsome sommelier.

sommelier-at-Central

The handsome sommelier at Central matched terrific libations with each delicious course.

Central is definitely on the chic side and an ideal place to have a special dinner when you have a full wallet and time to linger over the array of flavours presented to you.

We also had an amazing dinner at Bravo Restobar, located on Conquistadores in the San Isidro district of Lima. I hope I haven’t used the description, WOW, too much in this post, as nothing else can aptly describe the enthusiasm I had for this amazing meal from uber-creative chef owner, Christian Bravo.

We enjoyed an appetizer course of salmon and ceviche (also known as cebiche in Peru) made from mahi mahi. We had swordfish served with risotto, scallops with cheese, a beef tenderloin roll, shrimp with avocado and much more. I would highly recommend Bravo to anyone looking for casual chic and a more relaxed style of service.

the-bar-at-Bravo-Restobar

The bar at Bravo Restobar is adjacent to the dining area.

I won’t forget the terrific lunch we had with chef Flavio Solorzano at El Señorio de Sulco Cocina Peruana, an authentic Peruvian resto with a view of the ocean at 1470 Malecon Cisneros in Miraflores.

appetizers-at-El-Senorio-de-Sulco

The appetizers at El Senorio de Sulco were highly artistic and very delicious.

The meal was eye candy for this highly visual appreciator of gastronomy. As much as I love the aromas and taste of good food, I am definitely one who appreciates the artistry of fine cuisine, and chef Flavio is a master!

Our last meal in Lima was at Malabar Restaurante and Bar, situated at 101 Camino Real in San Isidro, a very chic part of Lima where you can shop till you drop into one of the comfortable chairs at Malabar, and be whisked away on an exotic culinary experience you won’t soon forget.

dinner-at-Malabar

Dinner at Malabar in Lima was enticing.

Chef Pedro Miguel cooks with ingredients from the Peruvian jungle, so you are guaranteed specialties you likely won’t find anywhere else. We enjoyed the chonta hearts of palm salad with chestnut cheese, paiche fish served with macambo fruit sauce, caracoles (snails) cooked in a sauce of cocoa foam and caviar and much more. Another WOW!

For those of us who do love the flavours of Peru, I came across this site where you can order Peruvian specialties like a dried version of the lovely aji peppers that you’ll find in so many dishes: http://gourmet-delights.com/store/peru.html.

As you can see, I totally loved the culinary scene of Lima. Now for dessert, let me tell you about some of the best chocolate of Lima, Peru.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

22 Responses

  1. …and that’s why you’re the Expert!! Thanks for the info Doreen … one day I hope to experience the Roselen Chocolates myself … I should have contacted you while I was there but another time

  2. Oh yes and the chocolate!!! There is a Chocolate museum right in the main city square called Choco Museum …. so chocolate is very very important to them. We were told by our LATAM rep that the best chocolate to buy to take home (from the airport) was “Sublime” … what would you say about that? Are you familiar with it at all? Coffee is another thing they are known for, especially their organic coffee … we experienced the Bisetti Cafe located in the Barranco district of Lima. Coffee and chocolate go together!!!

    • Hi Syndi. I LOVE Peruvian chocolate. My favourite is Roselen Chocolatier of Lima. They are exotic and very artfully designed. I have not heard of Sublime Chocolate, but will look them up! Yes, coffee and chocolate do go well together. But most chocolate makers prefer to pair their chocolate with tea, as they feel the coffee notes overpower the chocolate. Thx for stopping by and sharing your love of all things Peru. 🙂
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…ki’XOCOLATL Authentic Mexican ChocolateMy Profile

    • I just searched Sublime Chocolate and it is more in the “chocolate candy” category and made by Nestle. The Roselen Chocolates I mentioned are truly artisanal in nature, and use only fresh local ingredients. They really are exquisite in flavour, texture, and appearance.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…ki’XOCOLATL Authentic Mexican ChocolateMy Profile

  3. Doreen – I recently came back from South America on a culinary and cultural tour of Brazil, Argentina and Peru … and oh my goodness … we ate and drank our way through South America … amazing, delicious food everytime we turned around! As a Travel Advisor, I would not hesitate to recommend South America as a destination and not only because of the beautiful countryside, cities, people and history, but the food … oh my, the food! We had the pleasure of spending a day in Lima trying several different restaurants, starting with an organic coffee bar in the Barranco district … then we were taken to a local farmers market where we experienced the fruits and vegetables of Peru … so colourful, so tasty and delicious … then the fish markets … our next stop was learning to make cerviche and Pisco Sours (their national cocktail) and onto one of the most amazing lunches of our trip, at la Huaca Pucllana restaurant attached to the museum and recently uncovered ancient Peruvian ruins! The evening before, we were treated to a magical outdoor setting in the garden, dinner at the Larco Museum in Lima, which is a privately-owned (and one of the largest) collection of pre-Columbian art. The museum is housed in an 18th-century vice-royal building built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. Lima did not disappoint!

    • Hi Syndi and welcome to my site! Yes, I absolutely loved the cuisine in Peru. I found it to be quite a bit better than in Ecuador. I have not yet been to Brazil or Argentina but would love to go! I agree about the markets in Lima. The colours are absolutely stunning! And what I noticed as well, was the sizes of some of the fresh produce. I’ve never seen such huge pecans!!! We certainly had our share of pisco sours, but what I really loved, was the Chocolate Pisco made and bottled by Giovanna at her Xocolatl shop in Mira Flores. I definitely brought some of that home with me. I hope you’ll become a subscriber to this site and participate in future discussions. Cheers!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…ki’XOCOLATL Authentic Mexican ChocolateMy Profile

  4. Doreen says:

    Hi Jennifer: I’d start with the Lindt Excellent Series. I love the Sea Salt variety. These Swiss-made bars are available at large retailers almost everywhere in the world and are very reasonably priced, yet excellent chocolate.

  5. You’ve caught me at a bad time, Doreen – I’m currently slow carbing to slim up… this looks absolutely delicious though! Wonderful overview!
    Jennifer Lang recently posted…Education for Culinary ArtsMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Jennifer and thanks for your comment.

      Did you know that having a square of a chocolate bar that is 70% or more cocoa solids may only represent a single serving of carbs? It really is not fattening if you limit your intake to a single square of a good quality bar.
      Doreen recently posted…celebrating the sensual pleasures of chocolateMy Profile

      • To be honest, I don’t know all that much about chocolate… how fascinating – that’s really great to know, Doreen – thanks!

        When you say 70% or more cocoa solids and good quality bar, are there any brands you’d specifically recommend to get the best of both worlds? (quality taste, decent on carbs)
        Jennifer Lang recently posted…Education for Culinary ArtsMy Profile

  6. Doreen, reading the descriptions had my mouth watering, especially since I’m on a diet right now! It is wonderful to hear that you tried all the variety that Peru has to offer! It certainly makes Peru a well rounded destination with something for everyone, history, incredible fauna and flora, adventure and obviously food!
    Denise
    Travel Advisor
    Denise Gushue recently posted…Shotover Jet – Excitement at it’s BestMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks, Denise. I’m glad my post got your mouth watering!

      I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the cuisine.

      Thanks for dropping into the blog and sharing your enthusiasm for Peru.

  7. Erik Wolf says:

    It all looks so tasty. Peru is on my list of destinations I wish to visit soon!

    • Doreen says:

      You’d love it, Erik! Peru is truly an undiscovered culinary gem!

      Thanks for dropping into the blog.

  8. Susan Cooper says:

    Wow! That looks and sounds amazing. The neat part is your descriptions are so awesome I felt like I was participating. What a wonderful experience that must have been and we were able to hear about it through your words. :))
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Sticky Buns & A Bear StoryMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much, Susan! I’m truly enjoying having you along on the virtual journey!

      Next week we’ll be talking about Peruvian chocolate, so do stay tuned!

  9. As Doreen describes, the chefs in Lima are creating some really interesting combinations, especially involving fish and jungle flavours. They put a whole new spin on the term “locavore” and we were privileged to be at the cutting edge of this gastronomic explosion. Coincidentally, Christian Bravo was flown to Toronto last March by the Peruvian delegation to provide a meal for hundreds at the Prospectors & Developers convention.

    Special thanks to Giovanna, who guided us on this tasty journey.

  10. Katherine says:

    How I wish I can also have the chance to try out those dishes that you’ve sampled.
    Katherine recently posted…honest green smoke reviewsMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Katherine and thanks for visiting the blog.

      For me, one of the most satisfying parts of travelling is trying the local cuisine. It gives us a chance to try new things!

      If you are unable to travel abroad, try going to your local market/grocery store and buying something you’ve never tried before! It’s almost as good as going on the road to discover new culinary treats!

  11. Very nice blog site you have here—thanks for the invite to visit. The food looks delicious!
    Menopausalmother recently posted…Menopausal MeanMy Profile

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