Top-notch Peruvian chef, Martin Morales shares his foody haunts in Lima, Peru.
If you're heading to Lima, take a read of the following restaurants and you'll no doubt catch yourself adding a couple to your travel wish list!
1. Chez Wong
Javier Wong is the chef behind this amazing 20 seater restaurant which is housed at his home. Over a decade ago he started a restaurant in his garage and now it’s taken over his whole house. There is no menu. Each dish is different every time. He only cooks with dover sole and octopus and the only options you have are sweet or sour, hot or cold! From this he makes ceviches and tiraditos, and wok cooked dishes. This is not fine dining; its spine tingling don't mess with me, I will give you the fattest kiss on the world dining. His dishes are the most characterful, funky, punky dishes you will ever eat. They are sublime. Prime ministers, Hollywood actors, and humble locals cram in Monday to Friday between 12 and 3pm. It closes at all other times.
Address: Enrique León García 114, Santa Catalina, La Victoria (between 3rd and 4th blocks of Avenida Canadá).
Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino is for me Peru's top fine dining chef. ln the last few years he has built up a reputation making the most stunning dishes with some of Peru's more unknown ingredients in particular those which come from Peru's Amazon.
3. Las Brujas de Cachiche
Hands down it is the first place to go to upon arriving in Lima. It’s a great all-rounder with an excellent restaurant for lunch and dinner and an adjacent bar which is world reknowned. Ask for the Tacu Tacu de Palta (Avocado tacu tacu) or any of their mixed platters.
4. Amor Amar
From the previous owners of the legendary Pescados Capitales, this hot new restaurant is housed in a stunningly beautiful colonial building in Barranco. Delicious ceviches, arroz con pato and the best Coca Sour (Pisco infused in coca leaves and then made into a cocktail). It is innovative yet authentic in a great setting.
5. El Mercado
Top Chef Rafael Osterling’s relatively new restaurant. Its hip, fun, friendly and its food is absolutely delicious.
6. La Rosa Nautica
You have to go. But only go on a sunny day and during the daytime. It’s at the end of a pier, in the middle of the sea with views all around. You can hear the Pacific waves crashing into the restaurant's stilts, Lima's beautiful sunset (at around 5.30pm) and you can almost smell the fresh seafood being caught. Legendary BBC Head of World Affairs John Simpson once wrote that it was one of his favourite restaurants in the world.
7. La Huaca Pucllana
Set in the middle of the stunning 5th century ruins of La Huaca Pucllana right in the heart of Lima, the setting couldn’t be more impressive. By day you can wonder at the beauty of the ruins and by night, these are lit up making a dramatic setting. The food is equally impressive. Classic but also classy, and all from one of Peru's top chefs Marilú Madueño.
8. La Lucha
It's in the heart of Miraflores next to the Kennedy Park. Peruvian sandwiches are something very special. Try Pork with salsa criolla and one of their fresh fruit juices like Chirimoya. It would be a dream if one of these existed in the UK.
9. La Paisana
Try Ceviche de Mero and Sudado de Mero which are freshly made by Doña Sebastiana and her team. She is an award winning chef owner who came from the north of the country, started with nothing and now has this lovely neighbourhood restaurant. People flock from all over Lima just to eat here for lunch.
10. La Peña de Don Porfirio
For great late night fun filled with tradition, culture, food, live music, dance and comedy I suggest you go to a 'Peña'. These are late night traditional cabarets that start at 10pm from Thursday to Saturday - booking necessary. Locals and travellers of all ages are welcome. My favourite is La Peña de Don Porfirio. They also have the best recipe for their Lomo Saltado sauce anywhere in Lima.