BA - Peruvian Cuisine and Pisco Bar

Yesterday in Buenos Aires, we celebrated Elsa Hofer's (IADSW) birthday with a bang! For the celebration, we chose the Peruvian restaurant Sipan. For those of you who are not familiar with Peruvian cuisine, it's all the rage today in most of South America and also, catching on fast in the US and Europe. Just to give you an idea of how popular it is presently in Buenos Aires's, the number one restaurant in BA is Osaka in Palermo Soho, a Peruvian restaurant that serves a mix between Nikei (Japanese) and Peruvian food, much in the style of the popular Nobu restaurant from New York. Of course, the Chef that started Nobu, if you're a fan of Sushi and their food, is also a Japanese-Peruvian.

So back to our outing, Elsa, Bertha and I, all natives of Peru, decided to celebrate Elsa's big day in a place close to our roots, with lunch at Sipan. We started with a native Peruvian drink, chicha morada, a refreshing concoction known to lower you're blood pressure that's derived from purple colored corn. Delicious!
For an appetizer, we ordered the Tiradito Nikei, a sashimi like dish made with thinly sliced fish marinated in lemon and lightly seasoned with soy sauce and ginger. Amazing! For the main dish, we shared a huge portion of Seafood Tacu-Tacu between the three of us, a kind of stir-fry dish made with rice, beans and seafood (fresh shrimp, clams, calamari and mussels) seasoned with Peruvian spices, refried and covered with marinated thinly sliced red onions and hot peppers. Scrumptious!

For our desert, our waiter brought us a large "Chirimoya" ice cream dish, drizzled lightly with chocolate and decorated with one candle in the middle. He also brought three spoons, so we could sing Elsa Happy B-day and share the ice cream after the song. Chirimoya, by the way, is a sweet and exotic fruit from the Amazonian region of Peru. The ice cream flavor, a common one in Peru, had just arrived in Buenos Aires from Peru, to be included in their menu. Lucky for us!

The Sipan Restaurant is located in Paraguay 624 and Florida Avenue, in the heart of the commercial district of Buenos Aires. It's a popular lunch destination, so it's crowded for lunch, but at night, it's a more sedate atmosphere. Prices are very reasonable and portions are huge. Also, the restaurant serves three types of cuisine, some Peruvian dishes, some Chinese Peruvian dishes and some straight Sushi with a Peruvian flair. Tres exotic!

For those unfamiliar with Peruvian food, here are some recommendations for popular dishes you may want to sample:

Yuquitas a la Huancaina (fried yuca with a cheese sauce)
Causa Limena Sipan (potato salad appetizer)
Sushi Rolls - Mancoreno/Sipan/Inka Maki
Tacu-Tacu de Mariscos (seafood with fried rice)
Tacu-Tacu con Seco (lamb with fried rice) and so much more...

Beers - Asahi, Sapporo, Corona, Guines. Also, Sipan is a Pisco Bar, so don't forget to try a Pisco Sour, the Peruvian trademark drink made with Pisco, a grape derived alcoholic drink from the southern region of Peru.

The Sipan restaurant has received glowing reviews from Bloomberg and Elle magazine and from numerous local publications. The owners are opening a new location this summer in Punta del Este, the swanky, jet setter beaches of Uruguay.

If you make it to Sipan, tell us what you think. We appreciate your feedback.

Cheers! or like they say in Peru, Salud!


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