FROM BREAK­FAST TO BOOZE IN LIMA

Hieing off to Peru’s cap­i­tal and look­ing to eat as much as you can? Shave off time from your travel re­search to plan your out­fits in­stead, thanks to this din­ing and drink­ing agenda.

Preview (Philippines) - - Chapter Seven Dish - BY TRACIE AN­GLO-DI­ZON

The first thing a Peru­ano liv­ing in Lima will tell you is that com­pared to the rest of the coun­try, Lima has no trees. From the air, Lima looks like Cairo—a desert of flat-roofed build­ings and houses bor­dered by the Pa­cific Ocean. But be­yond the salty air, heat and bar­ren land­scape lies a lush culi­nary won­der­land wait­ing to be de­voured. Thanks to a long­stand­ing culi­nary tra­di­tion, an un­be­liev­able ar­ray of in­gre­di­ents, and in­no­va­tive chefs, one can al­ways eat well in Lima.

10 a.m.: CANTA RANA Lo­cated in the bo­hemian Bar­ranco area of Lima, Canta Rana is the sort of un­pre­ten­tious but at­mo­spheric neigh­bor­hood joint ev­ery­one fre­quents, from hip­sters to surfers to the man on the street seek­ing some respite from the heat. The dishes to or­der are ce­viche mixto (if you can't de­cide what ce­viche to or­der from its menu of close to 20 ce­viches) and lomo saltado, a Peru­vian ver­sion of our bis­tek Ta­ga­log with stir-fried sir­loin and rice or fries. So good. Gen­ova 101, Distrito de Bar­ranco 15063, Lima; tel. no. 51 1 2477274

Noon: MAIDO COCINA NIKKEI Housed in a two-storey mod­ern build­ing in the tony neigh­bor­hood of Mi­raflo­res is Chef Mit­suharu Tsumura's Maido, one of our fa­vorite restau­rants in Lima. We ate ni­giri sushi like Tuna and Yolks and Sushi à la Po­bre (An­gus beef), both topped with quail egg in­jected with ponzu. We also had Peru­vian cuisine with a Nikkei twist, like the de­li­cious Asado de Tira Nit­suke: braised short ribs cooked for 50 hours with fried rice cecina. And of course, I had to try Chef Micha's ver­sion of lomo saltado. Ev­ery sin­gle dish made my eyes close, espe­cially the sushi. 'Nuff said. maido.pe

3:30 p.m.: EL MERCADO DE RAFAEL OSTERLING A great lunch place that closes by 5 p.m., there's plenty of time to line up for lunch. The place is al­ways packed, thanks to the great am­bi­ence, sharp service, and the fresh­est seafood. We or­dered and loved the Scal­lops with Pisco But­ter and Chili, which we later learned to make at Chef Pene­lope Alzamora's house in Lima as part of our A2A Jour­neys pri­vate cook­ing class of­fer­ings. rafaeloster­ling.pe

7 p.m.: CEN­TRAL We were quite ex­cited to ex­plore the Peru­vian ecosys­tem via Vir­gilio Martinez's Cen­tral. If you want to try in­gre­di­ents you've never heard of in your life, come here. From the An­des to the Ama­zon, the in­gre­di­ents avail­able to chefs in Peru is stag­ger­ing and en­vi­able. There are 7000 va­ri­eties of pota­toes alone in Peru. My fa­vorite at Cen­tral was Land of Corn—not only in­tel­lec­tu­ally stim­u­lat­ing, but also ac­tu­ally de­li­cious, un­like some of the other dishes at Cen­tral. cen­tral­restau­rante.com.pe

9 p.m. MADAM TUSAN This restau­rant chain serv­ing Chifa, or Chi­nese-peru­vian cuisine, was a rev­e­la­tion. Chifa is every­where in Peru, even in the Ama­zon, but come here to sam­ple a more re­fined ver­sion. The Chi­nese food in Peru tasted like Can­tonese Chi­nese with Peru­vian in­gre­di­ents thrown in. Ev­ery­thing was so good, we ate an en­tire plate of fried rice with all the dishes we or­dered—each. madame­tu­san.pe

11 p.m. HO­TEL B BAR End your night in Lima at Ho­tel B's sexy bar in the Bar­ranco neigh­bor­hood. En­joy a pisco sour while ogling the gor­geous belle-époque restau­rant and lobby filled with out­stand­ing Latin Amer­i­can art. We stayed at this ho­tel and, in lieu of mela­tonin sleep­ing pills to cure jet lag, we just went down for a night­cap ev­ery night and slept soundly. Saenz Peña 204, Distrito de Bar­ranco 15063, Lima; tel. no. 51 1 2060800

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