Totora DIFC is the latest Peruvian eaterie to open (June 2016) in Dubai’s Gate Village in DIFC. It’s the second time we’re reviewing a Peruvian restaurant in Dubai this week! So should you give it a whirl?
Introduction to Totora DIFC
The word Totora means a type of very versatile Peruvian natural grass, every part of it is used for something. That’s where the name comes from. The staff are keen to ensure you understand that Totora DIFC really is an authentic Peruvian restaurant. So the food is as close to the original Peruvian dishes as can be.
Unlike Mayta Dubai, Totora Dubai is a home grown concept. This is the first Dubai branch and it boasts 22 Peruvian staff, most of whom work in the kitchen, that’s pretty authentic! But will you like authentic Peruvian food?
What to expect food wise at Totora DIFC
We’re all quite familiar with ceviche now, and Totora doesn’t disappoint. There are very distinctive flavours between the ceviches (“cebiches”) plates here, so that’s good. We tried the clasico seabass with leche de tigres lime and coriander marinade and the Nikkei with it’s sesame and soy marinade. Both were very good.
The maki rolls were wrapped up with sushi rice on the outside, but the rice was a little more densely packed than in Japanese maki rolls we’re used to. There was a also a slight sweetness to the whole dish too, but as we said earlier, this is all about authentic Peruvian food.
We LOVED the barbecued, smoky plump prawns on sticks cooked to perfection in a Josper oven. We ate these accompanied by asparagus and yam chips on the side.
The restaurant presented us with their maristo mixed seafood with rice to try as well. The scallops, prawns and squid were all perfectly cooked and sat on a base of a tomato flavoured rice, a little like a risotto.
Dessert was made of a very typical Peruvian ingredient: Lucuma. Lucuma is a fruit native to Peru that looks a little like a raw mango from the outside but it is yellow and fleshy and slightly sweet inside. It’s often added to smoothies and puddings, we had ours as a type of mousse.
Apparently it’s highly nutritious and contains beta carotene, iron, zinc and vitamin B3! But the best bit about this dessert – apart from the thought of you having a healthy dessert – is that’s covered in very good Pisco flavoured chocolate sauce.
The mousse sits on a bed of roasted quinoa, sesame and linseeds!
Ambience of Totora DIFC
This is a design lover’s dream restaurant. In fact there is a group of hotels called the Design Hotels, this would be in the Design Restaurants book of Dubai when it’s published.
But the very smart, contemporary, elegant design is subtle, look at how the ceiling features panels that are almost sliced and pulled apart. What do you think of the mini golden gate bridge you cross when you enter the restaurant?
The colour schemes makes use of bold Amazonian colours so there’s lots of deep turquoise blue and lime used on the uphostery upstairs.
The dining tables are subtly inlaid with geometric brass patterns. We visited during Ramadan so the blinds were drawn but natural light still came through making this a dining space bathed in natural light. That’s always good.
Look at Intersect by Lexus if you like to eat in well designed spaces.
Top picks at Totora DIFC
The Nikkei ceviche with fresh tuna (from Japan) and avocado with sesame and soy AED 50
The Classic ceviche AED 75
The prawns on sticks AED 95
The asparagus AED 35
The Yuca fried AED 35
The Lucuma pudding AED 45
Coffee (with a divine little, lucuma biscuit) AED 15
So if you had all the above, perfect for a good lunch or dinner in my view, that would come AED 182 if 2 people shared, very reasonable for this kind of food and location. I will be back one evening..
Currently waiting for it’s licence. Go try it for lunch, open during Ramadan 2016.
Tel 04 399 9666 to make a booking.
Thank you Monica.