Chifa restaurants are very popular in Peru. Chifa is the modern fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cooking.
Being Chinese food addicts we just had to try Chifa.
Of course, now well and truly enthused with Gaston Acuro’s restaurants, we chose Madam Tusan.
We were told that Tusan is the local word for a marriage between a Chinese and Peruvian couple so the name immediately intrigued.
We expected something special but were not prepared for what we saw. The décor was spectacular with an enormous dragon weaving in and out of the wall towering above diners.
We were seated in the balcony- the best seat in the house allowing us to view all the amazing dishes being served.
Menu choices were overwhelming.
So much to choose from!
Encamotao-Chicken and prawn dumplings coated in sweet potato shards and then fried, accompanied by an orange dipping sauce. Definitely my favourite of the night!
Now my challenge is to try to recreate them.
Prices were quite reasonable and the menu so unusual
I wish I had found Madam Tusan earlier in our stay.
I would have happily eaten there every night.
Gaston Acurio, Peru’s most famous international restauranteur has developed an empire of restaurants aimed at all levels of gastronomy and cost ranging from hamburger bars, ceviche garages and Chifa restaurants to the elite gourmet. ( see later posts)
While we were in Lima, unable to book an evening meal at Astrid y Gaston Casa Moreyra (six week waiting list!), we had the most amazing degustation lunch (28 courses!) in a magnificently refurbished historic hacienda.
The restaurant potager
Traditional smoking meat in the grounds
The menu was entitled Memories of my Land, a three hour experience which highlighted the history, customs and finest produce of Lima. Each morsel was served on a unique plate or presentation piece and was paired with different wines.
This tiny pork ball was completely covered in mini edible
flowers and cradled in a 6″ bamboo tripod.
Most portions were only
one mouthful but oh the detail!
A palate cleanser served in a hollow block of ice.
Where else in a restaurant of this
quality do you get to be invited
into the kitchen? These young
people have all completed three
years training and are now employed
full time preparing the amazing
degustation menu under the watchful
eyes of the head chef, Diego Muñoz.
Everything is done “to perfection”.
We were impressed to hear that with his passion for improving the quality and presentation of his beloved Peruvian food, Gaston has set up a foundation to train young chefs who would otherwise not be able to afford their training.
Absolutely fabulous! Definitely the highlight of our trip.
While in Lima I went on a Lima Gourmet Company tour.
We started with a viewing of organic Peruvian coffee beans that were individually hand sorted at a traditional roastery.
My new favorite fruit lucuma. Can’t really describe the flavor but in smoothies, paddle pops or ice cream it tastes like caramel. The lucuma smoothies we had at the Secret Garden café in Barranco district, the Bohemian district of Lima, were addictive and set me on a search for all things lucuma.
Dominated by a huge century old lucuma tree, the quaint little café is set in the refurbished maid’s quarters of a now demolished mansion. Unfortunately many of the old colonial buildings have now disappeared to make way for modern buildings. However there are still many wonderful examples of this architecture being lovingly restored.
A visit to the San Isidro market where we had generous tastings of many exotic rainforest fruits—the cleanest and best organized market you could imagine. Even the floors were spotless white glazed tiles.
We visited Embarcadero 41 the original Ceviché restaurant by Gaston Acurio, Peru’s most famous gourmet restauranteur,in a refurbished garage. This has led to many small ceviché restaurants set up by hopefuls in disused garages hoping to ride on the coat tails of Gaston’s success.
While there we had lessons in making Pisco Sours, Peru’s most famous drink.
3 measures of Pisco
1 measure of egg white,
1 measure of lemon
1measure of sugar syrup
Place in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake like mad
Serve with exactly three drops of bitters
A very potent drink drunk at every opportunity!
We also made and ate our own ceviche, Peru’s national dish. This dish reflects the coastal nature of the country and is basically cubes of raw white flesh fish “cooked” in lime juice with chillis and raw finely cut Spanish onions. By custom, it is only served for lunch because eating it any later means “the fish has been out of the sea too long”
Finally, (after all this food!) we went for a Gourmet Peruvian lunch & desert amid pre-Incan ruins at la Huaca Pucllana including the obligatory Pisco sours. We finished with a tasting tray of four traditional deserts.
Definitely a tour worth doing for the Travelling Foodie.