Different people look for comfort in different places. But for a lot of us, food is where it’s at. We find it at the bottom of an extra large bag of chips, in between the dense layers of a chocolate cake, or underneath the buttered buns of a greasy burger.
If you want to expand your choices of comfort food, there’s a homey place in BGC you need to hit up. This restaurant proves that comfort food can go beyond the typical American, Italian, and Japanese cuisines to include something different like the Peruvian style of cooking!
In here, it’s all about hearty carbs, a whole lot of meat, and familiar flavors that remind us of home.
Just a stone’s throw away from the offices of BGC, you can come in here and let their home cooked Peruvian dishes ebb away your work-related stresses.
Get your fix of comforting Peruvian food at Cocina Peruvia
To Filipino taste buds, the Peruvian cuisine may seem like a giant leap towards the weird and exotic. But it’s actually quite the opposite. Our local fare has so much more in common with theirs than we think, and we have our similar pasts to thank for that.
The four main influencers of the Peruvian cuisine are the Incan, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese cultures. But this shouldn’t be anything strange to us because we ourselves have been heavily shaped by the way the Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese cook their food. Peruvian flavors, therefore, bear resemblances to the ones we have in our kitchens, while still holding its own distinct character.
Cocina Peruvia’s Executive Chefs (Him Uy de Baron takes charge of the mains while Miko Aspiras heads the desserts) opened up the restaurant because they didn’t want to keep the allures of Peru’s food to themselves.
To keep it authentic, they have key ingredients like their aji peppers and pisco sour imported straight from Peru. They’ve even gotten the Peruvian Ambassador’s seal of approval when he got to taste their food!
A menu that introduces us to Peru’s staples
Did you know that Peru is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most number of national dishes? They have 491, to be exact! So you can only imagine how difficult the process of dish selection was for Cocina Peruvia.
But because most of us in the Metro are newbies to the cuisine, they’ve chosen to stick to the staples. Take their menu as an easy crash course into Peru’s vast world of food. You’ll be introduced to entrees that don’t look complicated or intimidating and flavor profiles that aren’t difficult to understand.
One of the best ways to start your foray into the Peruvian cuisine is with Cocina Peruvia’s Lomo Saltado (₱450). This well-loved dish is the best representation of Peru’s hybrid cuisine. To prepare it, beef tenderloin strips are stir-fried Asian style with onions and tomatoes and then flavored with aji amarillo, a type of pepper indigenous to Peru. To make this filling entree even more hearty, the beef is made to lie down atop a bed of fried potatoes.
The Anticuchos de Corazon (₱320) is another beef dish worth ordering up here. It does, however, make use of a cow part we’re not all that used to putting in our mouths–beef heart!
Before you freak out, know that all it takes is one bite of the perfectly grilled meat to win you over. As you plunge your teeth into the skewered chunks of heart, you’ll realize that they’re even more tender and juicy than regular beef. Slather them in either the aji amarillo sauce or chimichurri for an extra flavorful kick.
If pork is your guilty pleasure, get yourself a plate of their Adobo Peruvia (₱400). While it has the same name as the local dish we’re all familiar with, there are notable differences. Instead of marinating the meat in vinegar and soy sauce, Cocina Peruvia smothers the succulent slices of boiled pork belly in a rich, creamy sauce and tops it all off with bits of tomatoes and onions. It’s an indulgent dish that’s best devoured with a heaping mound of rice!
As for chicken, you can’t go wrong with a platter of their Pollo a la Brasa (₱380). Cutting into the roasted bird reveals tender meat that fills the mouth with flavor once bitten into. If you like your chicken with more heat, there’s the option of dousing every morsel with aji cilantro sauce (go easy on this one if you have low spiciness tolerance!) or chimichurri. The fried potatoes underneath the chicken add some much-welcomed crunch to the experience.
Since you’ll be ordering up a lot of meat at Cocina Peruvia, you can throw in some ceviche to add freshness to the mix. There’s the Ceviche Nikkei (₱290), a tangy concoction of salmon and talakitok cubes, coconut milk, and citrus juice that’s very similar to our very own kilawin, and the Causa con Avocado (₱290), a rich combination of mashed potatoes, shrimp, avocado, aji amarillo, lemon, and mayonnaise.
To end your Peruvian feast on a sugar high, sink your teeth into their Galera de Chocolate (₱350), a dark chocolate tart with potato crisps and figs wedged into it. As the thick, decadent chocolate melts away in your mouth, the salty and crunchy elements take over, making this dessert a fun treat to dig into.
Whenever you find yourself in need of some comforting, let yourself in at Cocina Peruvia and eat to your heart’s content. They’ve got their doors open for you twenty four hours a day, six days a week (they’re closed every Sunday 11PM to Monday 11AM).
Cocina Peruvia can be found at G/F Bonifacio One Technology Tower, 3030 Rizal Drive cor. 31st St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.