May 26 2012

Astrid y Gaston


This is supposed to be the 14th best restaurant in the world, according to the S.Pellegrino restaurant awards, and the restaurant is located in Lima, Peru and serves traditional Peruvian food in a sophisticated manner. The main chef Gastón Acurio is thought to be the Jamie Oliver of South America, ie one of the most famous celebrity chefs. He now has many restaurants across Peru, Latin America and also the States (including 6 other "Astrid y Gaston" restaurants in other countries), but “Astrid y Gaston” is his flagship restaurant in Lima (and the highest ranked by the S.Pellegrino awards) where he apparently creates the starter and main course dishes and his wife Astrid has created the desert menu. I was expecting big things when I went there, as I have only been to a handful of restaurants that have been ranked higher than 14th, and whilst the food was very good, delicious, and some of the dishes were absolutely superb, overall it failed to impress me to such a level to put this at number 14.

The menu is really cool, it has stories and is written in a really interesting way, but the problem was that they did not have an English menu to give to us, and I had to use my Spanish skills to understand a menu in Spanish and I am sure I missed some of the things there, and also the waiter who did not speak any English did not really help me much. Before our meal they brought us some bread and some very nice amuse bouche, and we also ordered the traditional Peruvian cocktails Pisco Sours. As a starter we had the dish called "El cuy ya tiene su chif" which had the Peruvian traditional guinea pig served in 2 different ways in the same dish - guinea pig prepared as the Chinese peking duck, served with pancakes that were made with traditional Peruvian flour and served with a crunchy Peruvian type salad (instead of the cucumbers Chinese restaurants would use) and also guinea pig dumplings just like the dim sum ones you would get in a Chinese restaurant (we were extremely keen to try guinea pig when we got to Peru, as we had read that this was their traditional dish, hence we ordered this) and I do think this was the best and most creative dish I had in this restaurant and in Peru overall, had they done more dishes like this, this restaurant for sure would have deserved to be in the top 40 best restaurants. The guinea pig (cuy) was amazingly cooked (I had Guinea pig elsewhere and it was not even 1/3 as good as here), and the whole dish worked superbly. I loved the creativity of using Peruvian ingredients to create a traditional Chinese starter. The other starter we had was called "Tres" and was a selection of 3 ceviches (another dish which is traditional in Peru and that we were extremely keen to try as soon as we landed in Peru). All the ceviches were good and delicious, but they were not any better than some of the other ceviches I have had in good Peruvian restaurants, but nevertheless very good.

For the main course I had a dish called "Lomo saltado tradición" which is a traditional Peruvian dish of beef cooked with onions tomatoes, topped with a fried egg and potatoe chips and served with a side portion of rice. I have had lomo saltado in other restaurants as well, and here they did make it nicer than in other places, as the chips were larger and crunchier, the beef better quality and the dish was nicely presented, but it did not blow me away and whilst it was delicious, for the world’s 14th best restaurant, I was expecting a bit more. My boyfriend had a dish that had a baby goat with potatoes (I can't remember the exact name of it), which was not great at all. It was very plain, and not very tasty at all, and to be fair Astrid y Gaston would have received MMMMm had it not been for this dish. To finish our meal we had one of Astrid’s created deserts with chocolate and ice cream.

Overall great place to eat Peruvian traditional food safely (probably the safest and nicest place to try guinea pig), but it just failed to live up to the expectations of being the 14th best restaurant in the world.

Date: 26/05/12
Location: Lima

Maija rated: 



Astrid y Gaston
175 Calle Cantuarias
Astrid y Gaston Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4