February 26, 2020

Latin American Flavors at Cocina Peruvia - Podium Mall

Latin America is a place that fascinates me and is definitely a dream destination. A lot of the countries in that continent have very colorful history, culture and cuisine. One of which is Peru, whose cuisine is very diverse and flavorful due to the mix of influences that this country has been subjected to. Spain, Africa, Chinese, Japanese, Native Americans, so just imagine such melting pot and how it is played out with their food.

Curious? Get acquainted with Peruvian cuisine without taking the long journey to Peru by trying out dishes from Cocina Peruvia. Its creators are both familiar with what appeals to the Filipino palate and what is authentic Peruvian cuisine. All of their stores are designed colorfully, also representative of the cuisine’s colorful history and background.

Cocina Peruvia has 2 branches as of the moment, one is in Vertis North and one is in Podium Mall. The latter is the one I have visited. And I totally love their space there; because of the glass walls overlooking a part of Ortigas Center, providing lovely natural light to come in. All the colors and the natural light gives off a relaxing and airy ambiance.

The dishes seem foreign, but some flavors are quite familiar. Its multi-cultural cuisine is also highly influenced by the terrain of the country, where one side is a long coastline facing the pacific and one a mountainous region sharing a border with several other Latin American countries.

We tried their best sellers which included:

Ceviche Nikkei – Jack fish, salmon, coconut milk and citrus juice. Compared to the Filipino version of ceviche, the Peruvian version is less acidic because it only uses citrus juice; unlike the local version that uses vinegar and citrus juice. I can't pick a preference because I like both versions.

Gambas Saltado – shrimp, bell pepper, garlic, butter, Aji panca and lemon. Saltado is a popular Peruvian dish which is any meat stir fried with onions, tomatoes and bell pepper. This is my second favorite dish among thise that we tried as it was very flavorful and is a best pair with the Cilantro Chicken Rice. 

Adobo Peruvia – pork belly slices, cream sauce, tomatoes, onions. At first, I thought this was just a usual steak. I was surprised to find out that it was cooked ala adobo Peruvian style and topped with bechamel sauce. It's a little salty but the cream cuts the saltiness and though already so flavorful, in my opinion goes well with the cilantro chicken rice as well. This was easily everyone's fave dish.

Anticuchos  de Corazon de Vaca – otherwise known as beef heart skewers served with Aji anticucho sauce and chimichurri. I didn't know at first that it was beef heart, all along I thought it was wagyu beef. I have no problems eating beef or pork innards, I think I've eaten almost all innards (well, except for bull reproductive organs). These heart skewers are juicy and tender and tasted well with the dips that it came with.

Encebollado – aka Jack Fish and Cassava Stew. Jack fish, cassava, tomato, onion, lemon. The soup was a little bland for me and I don’t know to which I can compare it to. Unfortunately, this is my least favorite of all. Also, maybe I am not a fan of soup dishes aside from sinigang. 

Arroz Verde con Pollo – or in English Cilantro Chicken Rice and contains steamed white rice, loads of chopped cilantro, and mixed vegetables. This is a complete dish in itself, you actually don’t need a viand for this dish. Be warned though, it has got some super strong cilantro flavor that some might not like. But as for me, I loved it and I find it a good pair with most of the viands that we tried.

Galera de Chocolate – dark chocolate ganache, blue crisps, tortillas, dried figs in syrup. This dessert was inspired by the galleons that did trades during the era of colonization between Europe, The Americas and Asia. I am not a fan of dark chocolate, but this was good all in all plus I truly enjoyed the dried figs.

If you're up to try something new to your palate or someone who wants extra flavorful dishes, I highly suggest for you to try Cocina Peruvia. Their colorful and cozy restaurant is as colorful as the dishes that they offer.

5th floor, The Podium Mall,
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Contact Nos: +63 9176351862
02 79073958

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Cocina Peruvia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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