I would have never thought of having Peruvian cuisine if my colleagues had not gifted me a GrabOne voucher for my birthday for Andino. Very curious to know as to what the Peruvian cuisine is like, I did my own little research to find out that lots of their dishes have a smoky essence to it. Hmmm…Anyways, off we booked a table on a lazy Sunday to enjoy a 2 course meal at Andino.
Walking through the inside dainty streets of Newmarket, we found Andino located on the first floor of a building. Friend and I were greeted with a friendly welcome and I think the nice man who greeted us was the waiter, was the bartender and was the chef!!! In case you are thinking that was a sacrifice to customer service and the quality of the food, I must assure you that it was not.
After ordering our glasses of house Pinot Noir, we browsed through the Sunday lunch menu. I must point out that it’s slightly different to the dinner menu. Anyways, as you would have guessed, I went straight for the Forest Causa because it yelled mushrooms and friend ordered the Market Fish Ceviche.
A top notch vegetarian entree, I was mind blown! Creamy firm mushrooms on ash smoky whipped potato with a perfectly boiled egg. The kind of boiled egg you see on a food magazine cover page that’s not pale yellow but fresh orange kind of yellow. My gosh, the whipped potato, so smooth and creamy was a perfect melt in the mouth experience. And that was the point of the dish because “Causa”, in Peruvian cuisine describes a mash potato cake dish with toppings served cold. The smokiness has a hickory kind of essence.
“Holy Moly, and beautiful guacamole!” And these are not my words. My friend said this is the best he’s EVER had and he would pay top dollars to have this humble simple ceviche. We actually ordered this dish after we overheard the diners beside us raving about it. According to them it was the best they had ever had, and I would agree with them.
The simple but sharp and memorable flavours come from the fish being cured in lime and ginger juice. Tossed with strings of raw red onion, this match of raw, sour, sharp and heat- was a match made in heaven.
Friend ordered the above for mains. Sautéed tender beef cooked in smoky beef jus with crunchy spring vegetables served with humble potatoes and rice. The beef jus was magnificent with an ashy palate and “I want more” after taste.
And finally, this is a typical meat-free Mondays kind of dish. Yes, another mushroom dish with all different kinds of mushrooms cooked in a smoky more like hickory scented tomato jus. The bitey textures from the eggplant and courgettes very well complemented this casserole served with a humble serving of white rice.
Peruvian cuisine is the kind of cuisine I would opt for again. And even better, would try cooking it at home. Beautiful humble flavours that satisfies your soul. You know when people talk about things like “Soul Food”, this was that kind. pretentious and to the point! We didn’t have room for dessert however I know we would be heading there again.
237 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland