Lima Diaries: Menu.

September 15, 2012

At lunchtime, there is something called a menu at restaurants all over the city that allows diners to eat a filling noonday meal for cheap. There are generally several appetizer options and another list of available entrees. Any combination of the two are chosen, accompanied by a free drink (usually some sort of fruit juice) and a set price. It is a pretty great concept considering we managed to eat very well for less than $5USD on several occasions–meat included!

Another interesting fact about the Peruvian food scene: Chinese-Peruvian fusion is ubiquitous. There is chifa, the official title for the cuisine blend, and there are certainly plentiful establishments declaring themselves servers of chifa. But what I also discovered was that even at regular Peruvian restaurants, many of the offerings were really Chinese dishes and flavors under Spanish designation.

G and I wandered our way into a hole-in-wall after asking all sorts of characters on the street for recommendations. I ordered Sopa de Semola (a semolina beef soup) and pollo saltado. The description the waiter provided about the latter smacked entirely of Latin food. Yet when my plate arrived and the morsels went into my mouth, it was essentially chicken stir fry dominated by dark notes of soy sauce. It was even served with white rice (strangely plated in the shape of a four leaf clover). That was not the last time I unwittingly ordered Chinese food despite my best intentions…

We were also served an interesting juice that looked like lemonade but tasted bland in the most horrible way. Free was the only reason why it was acceptable, but we still tested with baited breath our lunch drinks the following day until we sighed with relief over sweet passionfruit soothing our worried tongues.

Food experiences while traveling are always an adventure.

Sopa de Semola

Pollo Saltado (aka: basic chicken stir fry).

Escabeche de pollo.

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