Scrolling down my Instagram account feed is like a trip down memory lane. When @the_lazyfoodie first started, it was made up solely of desserts, cakes and all the sugary treats imaginable, sure to put a frown on any nutritionist’s face. My taste buds rarely left their comfort zone, and always went back to the same cafes for the same sort of food.
Once in a while I do go out to try something I’ve never tried before, such as last Saturday’s Peruvian brunch at Señor Ceviche’s new branch on Charlotte Street.
I’ve never, ever had Peruvian food before, and so was expecting dishes similar to its Southern American neighbours. Yet I was surprised by some familiar Japanese terms on the menu: soy sauce, miso and Yakiniku.
A little Googling shed some light on this – Peru actually has the second largest ethnic Japanese in South America since the immigration boom in the late 19th century. The Japanese bought over their delicate cuisine and cooking techniques, which synthesised with the freshness and punch in Peru to give birth to the Nikkei fusion cuisine.
Intrigued, we ordered 4 dishes for the table, which arrived swiftly while we were sipping our refreshing Lavendar Pisco (a special cocktail of the day) and Pisco Maria.
The first to arrive was the Chifa Chicarrones, which I’ve seen everywhere on Instagram. 4 cubes of slow cooked, juicy pork belly wore their coats of sweet soy sauce and topped with squares of crispy pork skin.
I had a bit of a calamari craving, and their Calamares got their batter perfectly light and crisp, and the jalapeño miso salsa was a package of unique, punchy flavours.
We were recommended their Señor Ceviche (if they named a dish after their own restaurant it cannot be left unordered), which was appetizing and refreshing mix of fresh sea bass, octopus, avocado, red onion and crispy baby squid, with ahi amarillo tiger’s milk in a sunflower yellow.
We had one main dish between us: the sweet potato waffle topped with 24-hour slow cooked short rib, frijoles negros (black beans), fried duck egg and miso anticucho sauce. It was a delicious and very much successful transformation of a classic brunch dish, adding to it their flavourful and beautifully done short rib along with Peruvian ingredients.
I can never say no to a dessert, especially when the friendly waiter’s description had me nodding along as if I was under a spell. The dulce de leche crème brûleé was as amazing as he had described – smooth, indulgent custardy delight hiding under the thick layer of crunchy caramel, paired with the fresh shiso granita that gently swept the sweetness at the end.
Verdict: fresh, delicious food that was good to its core, complimented by such a relaxing atmosphere. The wonderful service and helpful recommendations from the staff added bonus points to the overall experience.
18 Charlotte Street
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