Rafael Osterling’s latest creation is Lima’s most buzz worthy restaurant of the moment. The cebicheria, a huacas length from the cluster of other trendy cebiche spots on Avendia La Mar in Miraflores, is well priced, better executed, and in my opinion the cebicheria to beat in the La Mar restaurant zone right now. The lunch only spot is more casual than his signature Rafael, though it’s still has an upmarket foodie feel with a long wooden bar, large chalkboard displaying the daily specials, and an open air dining room with a Playa de Asia style beachy décor.
The menu here is huge and there are dozens of chalkboard specials to go with it. The concept bounces around from cebicheria staples to plates inspired more by the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, which is a theme that runs through all of Osterling’s restaurants. Pages are dedicated to Rompe Bocas, sandwiches, causas, parrilladas, chupes, tacu tacus, fish dishes, sushi, ensaladas, arroces, chaufa, peruchos, and even crocante (crunchy).
Their Ceviche Mercado, a type of fried ceviche, is the perfect combination of texture and flavor. The batter on the calamar (squid) and pejerry (sort of like an anchovy) makes it more filling than most Peruvian cebiches, though the leche de tigre and aji amarillo help it retain the bright and fresh flavors. The Causa Tumbesina adds a touch of Dijon mustard the yellow potato base that’s layered, or more specifically in this case, rolled like a piece of sushi, with crab, avocado, and crunchy batter fried shimp for texture. There are fish and chips too, Nikkei style butifarras, and several variations of grilled pulpo (octopus). Quality is good all around, ingredients fresh, and execution is precise. It’s hard to have a bad meal here and the shear size of the menu means there is a little something for everyone. The cocktail list is a little bit boring, mostly standard pisco drinks, but little that is original. You cannot have everything I guess.
Hipólito Unanue 203 (1 block from Av. La Mar)
Peru Tel: 221-1322
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.