Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: So ordering a entrée for an appetizer is not common practice?
Lima is one of my favorite cities to eat in mainly because of their wide array of food and the fresh seafood. One cannot go to Lima and not eat at a cevicheria, and in my crazy mind that should be a priority. After finding a place to crash, find a cevicheria to eat at. Most of the well known cevicherias are located on Avienda La Mar in Miraflores which is an interesting street because it is just cevicherias and auto shops along this stretch. I do not know if there is a correlation, maybe while your car gets worked on, you can relax and eat some ceviche while you wait. Just an idea and something I would do.
Last year I went to El Mercado which was great but I decided to try Pescado Capitales which is one of the places that locals and tourists all recommend. The name of the restaurant is a play on “capital sins”; pecado is the Spanish word for “sin”, hence capital sins. Thankfully, they do not do anything cheesy or gimmicky with the décor for it is modern, airy and relaxing. However, the menu plays a bit on the whole Capital sins theme, from have sections that a diner can eat from “indulgence”, “greed” and “virtue”, stuff like that. The themes plays sidekick to the food and does not interfere with good food.
They start off with roasted corn that you find at a lot of places in Peru. It is roasted corn that gets a fryer treatment and sprinkled with salt, a great bar snack. When you first eat it, crisp and salty but the more you chew it, it gets dry. I personally like to use it as an organic crouton and sprinkle it in soups and such. At a cevicheria you have to get a ceviche or some kind of raw fish preparation. I started off with their namesake ceviche, the Capitale Ceviche. It had three kinds of fish, sole, tuna and salmon, and three kinds of peppers, aji, rocoto and lime. The ceviche comes with the standard accompaniment of a boiled sweet potato and boiled sweet corn. The ceviche was big and was topped with seaweed that was refreshing and crunchy. Though it was a mix of fishes, each one still had a distinct taste. The addition of peppers was present, but was not overbearing. The sweet potato and the corn are necessary I realized in order to balance and cut the heavy acidity of the dish. Also, I think it is also filler but nonetheless, they tasted great. Food After the Jump!
I also ordered the tuna tiradito which is similar to ceviche in the sense that is also a raw fish with acid but instead of just throwing it into a nice mound, the fish is sliced thin and artfully laid out. The dish was, tuna slices circled the plate and had batons of mushroom and celery in-between each slice. The sweet potato and corn was crowned in the middle and it all looked pretty then you see this grayish petrol colored sauce that looks off putting. However, it tasted like complete opposite, the sauce was a mix of olive oil, salt, pepper and oyster sauce which I can only conclude is a nod to the Chifa influence in Peru. The sauce was sweet and light and matched well with the tuna. The celery and mushrooms, though seem like a useless accompaniment, is not, the bite from the celery is refreshing and makes you wanting more.
Like usual, the servers underestimated my gluttony and insisted I just order the two dishes and if I was still hungry, then I should order more. I was originally going to just get the grilled octopus but I decided instead to go a step further and do a mix, of octopus, shrimp and squid. I admit, I was feeling somewhat full, but I was not going to prove these servers right and besides, I like grilled octopus.
The elements of the dish are all grilled and brushed in olive oil that is spiked with Madras Curry. The dish is simple but every element was perfect. The Octopus was tender, the squid had the slightest bite to it and the addition of curry powder added a soothing smokiness and a tingle of spice that was on point.
The desserts here are not to be skipped and I opted for the rice crème brulee. This is the result of rice pudding and crème brulee doing the dirty and created this light custard of rice. The sugar shell I personally could have used a bit more caramelization but it did achieve the crackling shell effect. To top it off was a scoop of coconut ice cream, which will dispelled any notion that coconut taste like the weird flaky stuff you find in the supermarket.
Pescado Capitales is a place worthy on any food itinerary. The food is consistent, fresh and executed well. The service is prompt and accommodating especially to Gringos that should have paid attention in High School Spanish a bit more. I cannot get enough of the space at Pescado Captiales, cevicherias are opening in the afternoon from noon to four or five at night and it is common to linger and relax after eating. The food as well as the setting is a great place to linger and soak up the sun in Lima.
La Mar 1337, Miraflores, Lima, Peru