South Americans in general don’t quite know where Vietnam is, which is fair enough really because they are on opposite sides of the world and don’t have much to do with one another. Somehow, some Vietnamese ended up in the heart of Lima, Peru and opened up an awesome ceviche restaurant – its name aptly translating to “Fish Capital”. It’s perfect really, coastal Peruvians love eating fish – Vietnamese people are darn good at cooking fish (I might be biased since I am a bit Vietnamese)
Ceviche in case you don’t know, is a pretty standard dish in the coastal areas of Peru where there is an awesome abundance of fresh and cheap fish. It must be made with super fresh fish as it’s not cooked. So, it’s raw fish, drenched in lime juice, the acidity which technically cooks it. Then they usually shovel in a tonne of red onion, and serve it with potato and weird corn on the side. It’s properly eaten in the morning or early afternoon as the fish must be fresh, but I guess since we invented refrigeration ceviche can be found for dinner too. Cevicherias still keep with the tradition (or are super lazy) and almost always only open for lunch.
Pescados Capitales opens exclusively for lunch and packs out with a snooty well dressed crowd that look like they’ve walked off the set of The OC. There’s no floundering around with ‘fusion’ hype bullshit (it took me a long time to think of that pun), it’s straight up Peruvian cuisine and tastes, handled incredibly well by Vietnamese. Every ingredient so fresh, served simply in perfect portions. When the acidity from the ceviche starts hurting your mouth, you can try the delicious grilled squid with baby octopus. On a street full of expensive cevicherias, Pescados Capitales has maintained its prominent status for the last 10 years so you know it’s definitely not a drug front, as the food is way too good.
Info: Avenida La Mar 1337 Lima, Peru (0) 1421 8808
How much money to bring: USD$25-50
OK to bring a date? definitely for a nice lunch date
It’s closed on: ?
Don’t: leave your Spanish phrasebook at home
Do: share, the dishes are actually well suited to sharing despite the fact that Limeans generally don’t share meals
Sounds like: Un Momento – Inna