Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peruvian @ Ristretto

It's the twist that no one saw coming: Ristretto is now not only a coffee bar but also a full-fledged South American restaurant, embarking on an audacious move recently to start serving Peruvian cuisine (!) at dinnertime.

The wide-ranging recipes here seem impressively authentic, with lovely flavors that fit the description for what Peruvian food tastes like. Choros a la chalaca worked well for a tangy, perk-me-up starter. Basically boiled mussels topped with chopped onions, tomatoes & lime juice.

Our flat-out favorite: papa a la huancaina _ an addictive salad of sliced potatoes & eggs, soaked in super-creamy sauce made of fresh white cheese, yellow peppers & milk. Rustic fare that fulfilled its role as fantastic comfort food. The spicy sauce was particularly fascinating, leaving a pleasant tingling sensation on our tongues.

Tiradito aji amarillo (raw sea bass & salmon marinated in yellow pepper). This reflects the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peru's cuisine; lots of luscious slices of fish in a thick paste with aromas reminiscent of garlic & ginger. Recommended for anyone who loves sashimi but wants to experiment with a different way of eating raw fish.

Arroz con pollo, comprising chicken & onions on a cushion of rice cooked with peas & corn. One of those honest, wholesome rice recipes that might taste reassuringly familiar to folks in numerous nations.

Lime-marinated seafood ceviche with sweet potatoes. Apologies to the chef: we hated to leave this half-finished (such firm-fleshed fish shouldn't go wasted), but portions here were unexpectedly huge!

Best's Chardonnay (Grampians, VIC).

Best's Shiraz. A compact selection of wine is available by both the bottle and glass.

Ristretto Cafe,
10 Mont Kiara,
Jalan Kiara 1, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-6211-1183


  1. Hmmmm...this is damn interesting...Peruvian cuisine seems to mix a multitude of flavours together...this goes into my book :)

  2. very interesting indeed! PRICE how??

  3. Ulric: yeah, there's currently only one other Peruvian eatery in KL (la bomba at starhill), but the menu here is a bit wider. Make sure to visit only for dinner though, since the Peruvian menu is only offered in the evening...
    Tng: Prices are slightly high; RM30-40 per person, to be safe. But most of the food can be shared, since the portions are pretty generous =)

  4. Prices are not too bad :)

    Ok got it...thanx for d info...*thumbs up*

  5. You had me at ceviche...

  6. wow. what a twist and i really have no idea what Peruvian cuisine is all about! Now at least I have some idea what they will be serving.

  7. Wow.. interesting progress with the restaurant! Peruvian food somemore.. The papa a la huancaina looks like it's screaming out to me to be eaten! :P

  8. ulric: ya, at first glance, the menu might seem a bit pricey for some items, especially the seafood ones, but all the portions are suitable for sharing. the most expensive of the ones above is the ceviche, at RM50, but it's seriously sufficient as a main course for two people :D
    unkaleong: heheh, we all need more ceviche in our lives! hopefully if the food here gets the thumbs-up from enough customers, other restaurateurs might be inspired to open south american outlets in KL =)
    eiling: there's a lot of corn, rice and potatoes in peruvian cooking! but yeah, it's mostly hearty, no-nonsense fare. seafood marinated in lime, cooked in stews, and chicken and beef with rice :D
    iamthewitch: oh yeah, i hope the risk pays off for ristretto. it's always cool when a restaurant tries something daring. the papa a la huancaina was my favorite, filled with yummy carbs, heheh =)

  9. Where's the fried guinea pig??

  10. lemongrass: ahem. halal outlet lah. the 'pig' in 'guinea pig' might raise the eyebrows of certain enforcement officials. (besides, guinea pigs are too cute to consume!) :D

  11. Do they have a Peruvian chef?

  12. Baby sumo: oooh, we briefly saw the chef, and he looked possibly foreign, possibly south American, but we couldn't tell for sure. I should have asked! :D

  13. Wow I've never had Peruvian food - how does one pop up in KL?!

  14. Hungry female: heh, I'm glad I have these photos to prove to myself that I wasn't dreaming! Let's hope that other exotic cuisine will pop up in KL eventually. I wonder what Costa Rican cooking is like! :D