A wonderful view of the ocean accompanied our pisco sours, tequeños (fried cheese parcels) and yuka fries. They play a range of nineties and noughties music, the ambience is cosy upstairs and the furniture is comfy and sturdy, though service can be a little bit slow.
Our first lunch in Lima, and it turned out to be one of the cheapest and tastiest set meals I’d ever ordered anywhere: a choice of three starters and ten mains was pitched just right, and our jug of Chicha, a rich grape juice similar to Vimto cordial, was generous.
We tried all three appetizers, and the ceviche was supreme, laced with extra garlic and tangy chilli that pushed against the boundaries of acceptable sharpness. The chupe and causa – a seafood chowder and a crab-filled yellow potato dumpling respectively – were both very tasty, the former a little thin and watery and the latter dense and filling.
For mains, the lomo saltado, a Chinese-style dish of fried beef strips with a pyramid of rice, and the tacu tacu, an African bean, rice and lentil mash, were hearty and comforting. At 12 soles a head ($4), this was the best value meal I’ve ever had; just a shame our waitress was perennially dazed and confused.
The Crudo Sampler is the best way to start, with its Artic Char dressed with
horseradish cream, wasabi tobiko and dill, sliced butterfish with suncrest peaches, pasilla peppers, and jamon serrano, cubes of yellowtail jack tuna with capers floating in a shishito aoili, and the sensational Ono with avocado, rhubarb and jalapeno relish. ‘Micro cilantro’ and ‘black lava salt’ add some pretension to an otherwise sturdy menu of hot and cold dishes.
The clam chowder is the richest, creamiest soup I’ve ever tasted in my life, and works well when shared in small portions. We ate the mussels which were tangy, and the Idaho red trout with its more subtle and delicate flavours.
The interior and service is unfussy, and the wine list (could do with more local choices) is short and sweet; all in all one of the best meals I’ve had on the west coast. Highly recommended.