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Looloo Rendezvoos: Cocina Peruvia (Quezon City)
My first post on Hubpages!
I hope that my first attempt on Hubpages would turn out good. I have been keeping posts on my blog so I thought it was time to try another platform. For a change.
Like anyone else, I'm an inveterate foodie. So when I got another invite from the looloo app (I could have written it in lower case on my blog), I could not resist it even though the location was not familiar to me.
What is looloo app and what is a "rendezvoos"?
To explain about the looloo app, it is a search-and-discovery mobile app and website here in the Philippines. Users review and rate places like restaurants, cafes, hotels, resorts, spas, recreational places, parks, museums and a lot more.
Many looloo reviewers are lucky to get invited to the "rendezvoos" (it's rendezvous but with "oo" for looloo's branding). It is basically a meet-and-greet of the reviewers and Looloo staff at a sponsored event, mostly an "eat-up."
First time to taste Peruvian cuisine!
Cocina Peruvia was going to be my fifth "rendezvoos." Since I hadn't been to that restaurant, I was obviously thrilled to try some new cuisine. Plus, I was also looking forward to meet other looloo reviewers (some of them I had met before, some I hadn't).
Cocina Peruvia had just opened their second branch (I believe) at the new mall Ayala Malls Vertis North in Quezon City (just behind TriNoMa mall, which is also owned by Ayala). The mall was still almost empty and reeked of fresh paint. There wasn't anything much to do there yet as there were just a few stores during the time I was there.
At around 7 pm, I arrived at Cocina Peruvia, with almost all of the attendees present. Peanut D. from looloo led the event.
Ms. Ida and Ms. Nerissa (from the marketing department) and Chef Lando presented us with an exciting array of dishes, coupled with stories of how Cocina Peruvia was formed.
Since Peruvian cuisine is not as popular here compared to Japanese, Italian, or Korean, good thing restaurants such as this pop up to introduce the flavors of Peru to the Filipinos. Some of the dishes here were adjusted to suit the Filipino palate. So judging from this rendezvoos, Peruvian cuisine to me is different but familiar at the same time.
Here are the dishes:
Anticuchos de Corazon de Vaca
A popular food of the Andes since even before the Spanish arrived. Nowaday's it's one of Peru's most popular street foods.
Although some pieces were chewy and a bit metallic or gamey, I loved this dish. I loved the spiciness of it.
Ceviche Nikkei (₱250)
Jackfish and salmon were the primary ingredients. Before I tasted my very first sushi just a month ago, I was having issues with eating raw food (for fear that I might catch salmonella or something).
But I got to like this dish as well. I liked both fish -- so soft and almost jelly-like in texture, especially the salmon. The acidity was just right.
Pasta a la Huancaina (₱250)
One of my most favorite dishes here. The sauce of this pasta dish was different -- even though it was white, it didn't taste like carbonara at all. Instead, it was made of huancaina sauce which primarily consists of white cheese, milk, pepper and even crushed crackers. So yeah, it did taste a bit "bready". Hehehe.
Pasta Verde (₱250)
When I was first saw this dish I was excited because I thought it was pesto. But when they said it was made with cilantro, my face fell flat. Hahaha.
I hate cilantro, but nevertheless I was willing to try this dish. It turned out to be agreeable at all... the cilantro hints for me were not so evident. I squeezed some lemon juice into it and the combination of lemon's acidity and the earthy flavor of cilantro was really good.
Chorizo con Pasta (₱250)
I found some more familiar flavors here at Cocina Peruvia, like this one. It was made with Pomodoro sauce. My kind of pasta sauce flavor. :)
I enjoyed all pasta dishes, even the cilantro one. I liked the appetizers too. It could have been enough but it was just "the tip of the iceberg"! More dishes came.
Rocoto Chicken Wings
I started to feel more "at home" with the Peruvian cuisine, at least here at Cocina Peruvia, because it offered spicy dishes and I like anything spicy.
Rocoto is a type of chili native to South America. As I researched more about rocoto, judging from the pictures they look like bell peppers. But unlike bell peppers, rocoto is definitely spicy.
These chicken wings are like buffalo wings. I liked it. I think I ate four pieces of them.
Adobo Peruvia (₱400 and ₱1190, depending on the servings)
To me, the Adobo Peruvia was the star dish of our rendezvoos.
Adobo Peruvia was different to our adobo as it had no vinegar and soy sauce. Instead, it used cream as a main ingredient for the sauce.
It was almost a unanimous favorite. But for me, I could have loved this dish if it weren't too salty.
Pollo a la Brasa (₱380 and ₱750, depending on the servings)
It was a pretty nondescript dish until I added the cilantro dip and the salsa... it became more interesting. The chicken was cooked well. But I had some issues with the French fries -- some were too salty, some were not.
Lomo Saltado (₱490 and ₱1150, depending on the servings)
Again, I could have loved this dish too if it weren't too salty.
Arroz con Mariscos
In other words, this is seafood paella. Sadly, I couldn't eat the prawns.
The mussels were too salty and even acrid, but the glutinous rice was bland. But that was ok. I paired it with their more salty dishes like the Lomo Saltado and Adobo Peruvia.
Galera de Chocolate (₱350)
Hands-down, the most fancy and most expensive dessert I've tried! This rich and dark chocolate tart was topped with candied figs, tortilla chips and purple potatoes (I think the purple potatoes added up to the high price of this dessert).
While some thought the purple potatoes and the tortillas in particular were not necessary and even intrusive to the overall smoothness and creaminess of this wonderful dessert, I loved the the crunch that they provided. Geez, I thought it was the dessert of a lifetime... it was delicious but its price was too steep to me.
My experience at Cocina Peruvia, as I found out, didn't get to be entirely different in gustatory terms as I originally expected. I found flavors that were more familiar to the Filipino taste, and I thought that it was something that this restaurant was aiming for.
Because their prices are too steep for my standards, I could put this restaurant to the "fine dining" bracket. But I could see myself coming back there for special dinners.
I liked almost all the dishes there, but they should work on the saltiness on some of them.
Overall, I liked the experience of trying out Cocina Peruvia's dishes and of course the company of other looloo reviewers and looloo's "Queen P." Peanut D.
Thank you looloo and Cocina Peruvia for the invite! :)
© 2017 Nievs