On Friday morning, I suddenly got a craving for Peruvian food. Why? I’m still not quite sure. But based on the recommendation of a Peruvian gentleman, my partner in crime and I decide that we are going to Melchorita.
We take the Orange Line to Station Jarry and walk for about ten minutes. It takes a total of around 30-40 minutes to get there from the downtown area.
The ambience of the restaurant is humble and I surmised that it’s a family-owned and run restaurant. There was only one waitress for the entire venue, so expect the service to be on the slow side, although the lady who served us was warm and friendly.
I was the only non Latin American in the restaurant. I know this because there was live music, and the gentleman who was singing went around asking everyone where they were from. He was also wearing a shiny red shirt and singing oldies, which added a certain nostalgia to the whole experience.
For starters, we had the papa huancaina, which is a Peruvian salad of boiled yellow potatoes in a spicy, creamy sauce called the (no surprises) Huancaína sauce, which consists mainly of queso fresco (a kind of white cheese) and aji amarillo (a kind of yellow chilli).
It was really delicious. Unlike other Peruvian restaurants I’ve been to, the portions here are not ridiculously big, so you’ll be able to order a larger variety of dishes.
I sipped on a lovely maracuya juice while I decided on what to have for mains.
For mains, my partner in crime decided on a Peruvian classic: fish ceviche (there was also seafood ceviche on the menu), which is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají.
I liked this ceviche, but I didn’t love it. Firstly, this dish commonly comes with choclo, a kind of Peruvian corn. I don’t really like choclo, but thought that I would let you know that this ceviche is not exactly as it should be.
Secondly, I wanted some chilli (rocoto or amarillo) and they didn’t have it, which took away a considerable chunk of my fun from the consumption of the mains.
I’m sure non-chilli lovers wouldn’t mind, but I wanted my chilli!
Ok, now I’m done ranting.
For my main, I decided on the seco de cabrito - a coriander-based goat stew with frijoles. They’ve also got seco de carne (beef) on the menu - I wasn’t familiar with either of the two variations since I’ve only ever had seco de cordero (lamb).
The seco de cabrito was really good but the flavour of the goat was overwhelmed by the taste of the frijoles. The meat was tender and it was a nice variation to the regular seco de cordero which comes with lamb.
All in all - it was a great restaurant experience. The food was awesome, and it was one of those evenings that I’ll remember for a long time. Having said that, expect some menu items to be unavailable, as well as some haphazard service.
But, I’ll be back here.
Hasta la proxima !
P.S. Cash only.