Malabar Lima Reviews
Peruvian / fusion cuisine with a great atmosphere at Malabar Feb 25, 2010
Malabar might be one of the most famous restaurants in Lima, specially among the business people who are visiting the country. They have ads in many websites, so it's not difficult to read about them. I was a bit afraid, this place would be overrated, but not at all. The experience was great!
It was last dinner for Robert in Lima and he picked up this restaurant, which is located in the business area. From outside it didn't look outstanding, white walls without decor, just the name written on a corner and doors always closed, but once you cross the door... First of all a very nice bar, which has been ranked as part of the top 10 worldwide by "Food & Wine". They prepare different drinks with Pisco (national liquor), besides the classic sours. The house drink is the "Pisco Punch" which is an old cocktail, that was almost forgotten until the chef decided to give it value again.
The dining room has red walls, decorated with paintings and also articles about this famous restaurant, very well known also outside Peru. The decoration is very nice and I like the fact the dining area is a bit higher than the entrance. There are not many tables, so reservations for weekends are recommended. It was a Thursday and the restaurant was packed by the time we left.
The food is so delicious! The chef recreates the Peruvian traditional recipes, but with a personal twist, adding some modernity but at same time using ancient plants and ingredients, which have been forgotten or he's just discovering them.
For appetizer we had 2 dishes with fish. The classic tiradito (slices of raw fish), but instead of the lime, he uses the juice of a fruit from the rainforest "tumbo". Also we tried the chita (another fish), which was just cooked outside, but raw inside. On top of it there were some sprinkles of fried pork skin, the name was even written in Quechua on the menu! This was very tasty, although the portion was small...
We had another appetizer: Caramelized spicy bell pepper stuffed with black pudding and rice. It was a variation of the classic Stuffed bell pepper and was awesome! The caramelized bell pepper was sweet and matched perfectly the blackpudding. First time I tried this version and might have become my favorite!
We decided to split 1 entrée. We ordered pork, Crispy Pork with boronia and tenderloin. The boronia is a puree of eggplant and plantains. What a great combination and so unexpected! The pork was extra tender...
They also have a good wine menu and the sommelier is always ready to give you suggestions. At the beginning I felt that the waiter was a bit annoying asking the whole time if we were ready to order, as is he was in a rush. But later he calmed down and helped us bringing our food in the right order, so we'd be able to enjoy it the most. He also was giving good explanations about the dishes and what they have.
The restaurant changes menu for every season and hasn't repeated one during the whole time they have been working.
Yes, this place is not cheap, but it's such a wonderful experience. Service is very good, atmosphere is so nice and food just delicious!
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