Many of you younger Ronsters won’t remember when Sihlfeldstrasse was part of the main transit route through the city. But if you do remember fuming amongst the fumes you may not have noticed an attractive, wedge shaped building to the south side of the square. Now painted pink and in the now tranquil setting of Bullingerplatz, this building is the home to Barranco, a new Peruvian eatery.
The first thing that i noticed on entering the restaurant was a mural that is (for me,) the epitome of South American street art. Vibrant colours and stylised characters dominated the mural (the restaurant is named after the bohemian artists district of Lima,) and Christina, my host for the evening, proudly told me it was painted by renowned Peruvian artist Entes. That said, the decor for the restaurant was low key yet elegant. It felt like a comfortable place to both entertain a first date or have a casual dinner with an old friend.
It was 8pm by the time i arrived and cocktail time beckoned. I was recommended a Pisco Sour, a drink made from Pisco (a Peruvian schnapps,) lime juice, sugar and egg whites. Move over beer, I have new favourite drink. Beautifully refreshing and the egg white foam gave a soft texture like a lovers kiss.
As i drank my new favourite drink and looked at the menu i ordered some Banana chips which came with a delicious dip reminiscent of guacamole but, i was assured contained no Avocado and in fact was made from Huacatay, a black Peruvian mint.
The menu is limited to thirteen items with several vegetarian and vegan items and i was informed that dishes are served in bowls to share. I ordered six dishes and as i waited (i was sitting near to the kitchen,) tempting wafts of delicious food odours set my mouth watering with anticipation.
First up was the Ceviche Clásico containing raw Meagre, sweet potato, Peruvian corn and worryingly Leche de Tigre, literally Tiger’s Milk. Concerned, I asked if any tigers were harmed (or milked,) in the making of the dish and was told that it is a citrusy fish stock that Peruvians love so much that they would happily drink it. Yes, I get that, it is absolutely amazing.
The second thing that i think is especially worth mentioning was the Anticuchos Veganos. Traditionally meat has always been the centre piece of a meal but with love and imagination vegan food can be as good, if not better. Made from Aubergine cubes, this dish had a fantastic crunchy texture and was covered with a smokey soy yogurt sauce.
I could go on to describe all the dishes in detail but suffice to say they were all of the same standard i.e. wonderful and showcased the skills of head chef, Jose Severino. The food was beautifully presented and the Salmon Patarashca was so good I had to be prevented from licking the plate clean. Both meat dishes (Lomo Saltado and Arroz con Pato,) came with perfectly cooked, tender meat, and the Arroz con Pato with particularly delicious rice.
The deserts are also worth a brief mention. The Sueño de Lúcuma was great and from where i was sitting i watched the chef lovingly prepare each one. Quinoa as a desert? Yes, it works really, really well with a sweet passionfruit foam.
So, should you pay Barranco a visit? If this doesn’t convince you i don’t know what will. See you there.
Rons Tip 1: Try the Pisco sour. Don’t drive and try the Pisco Sour.
Rons Tip 2: Sharing is caring. The food is served in bowls and it is easy to sample a bit of each dish. Order a few items and get tasting.
Rons Tip 3: Book a table. It gets busy in there, even in midweek but they have a great booking system on their website. If you don’t book, have a few Pisco Sours while you are waiting.
Instagram Suitability: The lighting is good and the murals make a great backdrop. However, there was customers sitting in front of the murals so you may have to wait until everyone leaves to get a great shot. Three out of five flashbulbs.
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