Ceviche. That word is enough to make me reminisce about good times on holiday, to think of fresh flavoursome food and more importantly to make me happy. Fresh fish, the acidic Citric juice and veg all together combine to make this dish so amazing.
So what did we eat. We skipped any snacks and nibbles and went straight for the ceviche as our starter. As the national dish of Peru, this was a must and we actually ordered two. We ordered the Ceviche Clasico, this was with Sea Bass (no picture sorry) and the Tiradito de Conchas (Scallops). The Clasico was so lovely and fresh, the sea bass was plentiful and the sharp lime juice and onions gave it the lovely crunch and zing that we wanted. A hint of chili and this was what my taste buds were craving and missing. The Scallop ceviche was a bit of a disappointment. I understand the need to have a hint of fusion, esepcially with Andina focusing on the Nikkei element and providing contemporary flavours, however, the mango sauce just didn't work for me. It became a bit too creamy and lost the freshness that defines ceviches.
Lengua de Arguedas: slow cooked ox tongue in picante stew, red onions, beer, panca chilli, confit oca tuber, cress (Above)
Pulpo Chancón: grilled octopus, lúcuma, butterbeans, chancaca and limo honey sauce, tomato, red onions (Last Picture)
Bistec Escabechado: marinated grilled fillet steak, red onions, amarillo chilli, choclo corn purée (Below)
The tongue was really tasty and a lot bigger than I thought- impressive. The sauce which was drenched over it was really rich and helped take a bit away from the tongue-ness of the ox. Although not the biggest plates the rich and dense flavours from all of the dishes meant that quantity wise we had enough.
The steak (Bistec) was charred and grilled really well. The chilli and corn puree were very good too. They didn't really add too much extra to the dish as the meat was delightful by itself.
The Octopus (Pulpo) looked like a treat and as much as I needed to take this picture, I was more focused on eating the damn thing. Meaty and tender, charred and sticky this magnificent creature and dish did delight. The meat was a tad overcooked and I would have liked that bit extra crisp from the grill.
We did not have a reservation, but Andina sat us down and all the staff were very helpful and informative. The buzz in the restaurant meant that we struggled to hear the waiters and waitresses at times, but they looked after us well. The Pisco Sours we started with had just too much forth for me; that is the issue with the egg white getting involved.
A really enjoyable night and a great place to go and eat. I will be back and would like to try their street food options. I think simple here is best and there isn't the need to over-complicate things.
Oh, yes, we also had the Cassava cake to finish with. I was not a fan and would probably end the night on the main courses.