Well I think Dubai loves Peruvian food based on the fact that 17 more Peruvian restaurants will open in Dubai in the next 18 months! Apart from Coya how many can you name now? There are 3 Peruvian restaurants in DIFC, 2 of which are in revered Gate Village.
These last 2 are both new, up market and authentically Peruvian, so how would you choose which one to go to? Find out on this week’s edition of Food News with me, Mark Lloyd and Zahra Soar on The Ticket Dubai Eye 103.8
Dubai loves Peruvian food at Totora
The word Totora means a type of very versatile Peruvian natural grass, every part of it is used for something. The staff are keen to ensure you understand that Totora DIFC really is an authentic Peruvian restaurant and it boasts 22 Peruvian staff. It’s also a homegrown concept. But will you like authentic Peruvian food?
Expect to eat different ceviches (“cebiches”) plates here. 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. We also tried their maki rolls but found these a little sweeter than we’d expected 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.
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!
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.
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.
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
Dubai loves Peruvian food at Mayta
It’s not obvious to find the entrance to Mayta despite it being in DIFC Gate Village proper. It’s located on top of the Capital Club, so ask where that is, take the lift to the 3rd floor and then you’ll be there. Mayta is the 1st Dubai branch, they have one in Lima and Hong Kong. I’ve visited twice, both times in the evening. I loved the colourful, vibrant tiles on the bar, pinks and blacks and greens make a great backdrop. Again expect to eat ceviche, very good ceviche including a variety that has avocado and parmesan cheese!
We had some ‘small share’ plates of crispy squid, quinoa salad and chicken croqetas to follow. The croqetas looked very similar to a dish we had recently at La Luz, but tasted quite different. The Mayta ones focused on chicken. The crispy squid was a little too sweet for our party, as it was coated with a spicy honey and pineapple salsa. This would have been better with a little more chilli we thought. From the hot main courses we liked the Cod Rostizado the most. (AED120)
You shouldn’t miss the impressive sounding but amazing tasting Quinoa Bread Pudding! I LOVED this dessert most of the all and am grateful that our waiter insisted we try it. Don’t miss it, even if you’re not a dessert person.
There’s a new Japanese on The Walk – Ramusake
It’s at the Hilton Double Tree at The Walk in the Marina side of town. Not an obvious entrance! I really liked the atmosphere at Ramusake, a Japanese restaurant, an ideal place for a first date I think as well, with a gorgeous terrace and impressive contemporary Japanese murals on the walls. I really liked the bar area and the whole feel of the restaurant, it wasn’t too big or too small.
They have a fresh fish counter and a small fresh vegetable display as well. So that reminded me of a mini Novikov! Order the crispy squid, fantastic and the chicken gyozas, they were my top 2 picks here. They also serve an interesting Japanese tuna pizza, with the base being a thin, crispy tortilla.
I wasn’t sure about some of the price points though. The key feature here is the Robata grilling method of cooking, that’s slow grilling over hot charcoal. But I thought the seabass at AED 185 was a little steep for what we got. But I’d still like to go back here as I liked the food and loved the atmosphere.
and we’re keen on trying Spice and Ice in JLT and the not yet opened Turkish restaurant at the Sheraton in MOE. DoinDubai is also looking forward to try the up market Italian restaurant Artisan in the Burj Daman building in DIFC.
I LOVE the fact that music isn’t played too loudly in restaurants during Ramadan, can this continue please even after Eid?!
Thank you Monica.
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