Last night, a friend and I tried this cozy and very friendly Peruvian restaurant called Fusion Peruvian Grill at the unassuming end of the San Mateo Third Avenue restaurant area, which by the way, has the most amazing collections of international cuisines I have come across in the Bay Area. My friend was so pleased and thrilled with the food, which I agree, that I have to write about it. It turns out that Peru has a renowned reputation for having the best cuisine in Latin America because of the use of flavours and bold experiments in combining seafood, meat, vegetables and starches with spices, sauces and ingredients including soy sauce, the yellow aji pepper and ginger.
My friend tried the purple corn drink called Chica Morada which is a combination of purple corn, pineapple, apple, quince, cinnamon, clove, allspice, lime juices, making it very refreshing (she felt she was in the Tropical which shows how good it was). A little ice tends to make it less sweet.
We tried their 3 dipping sauces which are all very good – the parsley in garlic and extra-virgin olive oil was especially thumbs up, and can easily be made at home!
Then we tried two more entrees which are Chaufa de Mariscos which are stir-fried prawns, baby shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels, octopus, calamari, in ginger garlic sesame oil, served with green onions, scrambled eggs, finally toasted in soy sauce (thank you for the online menu). By the way, “chaufa” or “chifa” is the Peruvian adaptation of “eat rice” in mandarin – no wonder we both exclaimed how close that dish was to the Chinese fried rice, but better!
The other famous dish we tried was Pollo a la Brasa with two sides of Peruvian yellow beans and salad. This is basically a roast chicken – the meat was really moist and flavourful – I later found out they marinated the bird typically in soy sauce flavored with red peppers, garlic, and cumin. A big must in this restaurant!
The other top, top Peruvian dishes, according to National Geographic, to try include Ceviche (raw fish in citrus juices), lomo saltado (stir-fry beef with tomatoes, peppers, and onions, soy sauce and fried potatoes on white rice – lots of carbo!) and anticuchos (beef heart kebabs).
Peruvian cuisine is by itself a fusion cuisine; the restaurant’s name highlights the cuisine’s most important feature indeed!