While in Lima, being a massive foodie, I decided to treat myself to dining at one of Peru’s most acclaimed restaurants, “Astrid y Gaston”.
Situated in the heart of the Miraflores area where many travellers stay, it was an easy walk from my central hotel at Sunday lunchtime. Being the first in at opening time, I was greeted by friendly and smart waiting staff who showed me to my table.
The restaurant is casually elegant without any pretentiousness which is always refreshing in a more upmarket eatery. Dining alone but with a good book, I took the opportunity to have an apple martini for an aperitif as I’d always wanted to try one and I wasn’t disappointed. The deliciousness of the cocktail set me up for what was to be one of my most memorable meals.
For starters, I opted for the local dish Causa Limeña (Lima style causa). Causa is seasoned yellow mashed potato and mine came stuffed with fish and other bits and bobs. It was decorated atop with the smallest half tomato I’ve ever seen (less than a centimetre in diameter!) and the same tiny size wedge of hard boiled egg! So cute! And totally delicious to boot.
I think you can often gauge a restaurant’s quality and the promise of good food to come by its bread and I was spot on this time. I was served the freshest of fresh small breads to accompany my food – one plain, one with raisins and walnuts which went superbly with the causa, and the thinnest of thin sesame bread sticks. Yum!
For my main, I had black cod in a kind of teriyaki sauce with potato puree. I asked for a side of vegetables as I do love my veg and there weren’t any accompanying it (perhaps the only slight negative). Well, the vegetables were cooked and seasoned to perfection in a lovely sesame dressing. The cod was perfectly cooked and again perfectly seasoned, and I washed it down with a fabulous crisp but not too dry Cabernet Sauvignon.
For dessert I had “El Sauco” which was just fantastic!! Strawberries with cassis, mascarpone with biscuits underneath, it was amazing!! I was in heaven!! Then, I had an Irish coffee to finish it all off.
I arrived at about 12.30pm for opening and left at 4 – the last one out! It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had and all for about thirty-five UK pounds! In Peru, that’s relatively pricey but back home in the UK, the meal would have been happily served and received in any of the best restaurants in the country and it would have cost me I guess at least twice that amount.
If you are in Lima, you must visit this restaurant to experience what I think is some of Peru’s finest cuisine in a great and relaxed ambience.
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