Peruvian @ Ristretto

July 7, 2011

It's the twist that no one saw coming: Ristretto is now not only a coffee bar but also a full-fledged South American restaurant, embarking on an audacious move recently to start serving Peruvian cuisine (!) at dinnertime.

The wide-ranging recipes here seem impressively authentic, with lovely flavors that fit the description for what Peruvian food tastes like. Choros a la chalaca worked well for a tangy, perk-me-up starter. Basically boiled mussels topped with chopped onions, tomatoes & lime juice.

Our flat-out favorite: papa a la huancaina _ an addictive salad of sliced potatoes & eggs, soaked in super-creamy sauce made of fresh white cheese, yellow peppers & milk. Rustic fare that fulfilled its role as fantastic comfort food. The spicy sauce was particularly fascinating, leaving a pleasant tingling sensation on our tongues.

Tiradito aji amarillo (raw sea bass & salmon marinated in yellow pepper). This reflects the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peru's cuisine; lots of luscious slices of fish in a thick paste with aromas reminiscent of garlic & ginger. Recommended for anyone who loves sashimi but wants to experiment with a different way of eating raw fish.

Arroz con pollo, comprising chicken & onions on a cushion of rice cooked with peas & corn. One of those honest, wholesome rice recipes that might taste reassuringly familiar to folks in numerous nations.

Lime-marinated seafood ceviche with sweet potatoes. Apologies to the chef: we hated to leave this half-finished (such firm-fleshed fish shouldn't go wasted), but portions here were unexpectedly huge!

Best's Chardonnay (Grampians, VIC).

Best's Shiraz. A compact selection of wine is available by both the bottle and glass.

Ristretto Cafe,
10 Mont Kiara,
Jalan Kiara 1, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-6211-1183