Mestizo Cocina Peruana - Spring/Summer Menu Tasting

Mestizo Cocina Peruana - 114 Partridge Street, Glenelg South SA 5045

When was the last time you've driven past Jetty Road and gone to explore what Glenelg South has to offer? I, Sofia, for one do not venture much beyond the main Glenelg attractions and food scenes, but luckily for me an invitation to a hidden gem on Partridge Street got me exploring a whole new neighbourhood. On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was invited to Mestizo Cocina Peruana to try their new Spring/Summer menu. All food and beverages were provided on behalf of Mestizo Cocina Peruana. For Amanda however, this was a second return, and her experience last time was quite memorable and just as delicious. You can read Amanda's blast from the delicious past here.

Conveniently situated away from the hustle and bustle of Jetty Road, you are sure to find parking along the street. The restaurant sits warm and inviting, and the interior decor is reflective of the cultural background of the owners, who themselves are from South America. The walls are painted in warm terracotta colours with Peruvian art works hanging on the walls. It's a cosy place, and you feel instantly at home. The Chefs, and owners, Renzo Canepa and Justin Hamam treat us like old friends, their good humour and passion for good food is infectious and inspiring, and we can't wait to try their new creations.

Tiradito de Lima $22
We began the night with a selection of tapas to share, which included the Tiradito de Lima, a sashimi style fish of the day with toasted cancha (corn), chalaca salsa and watercress. This dish is quite lovely, the fish is tender and fresh, and the toasted corn kernels add a great crunch.

Ceviche $22
The fish of the day Ceviche cooked in lemon juice, rocoto, toasted canacha and sweet potato is quite acidic and has a strong onion smell and taste. A good hit of heat from the rocoto (a South American pepper), both these raw fish dishes were a wonderfully refreshing and palate cleansing way to start the Peruvian feast.

Escabeche de Calamari $24
The Escabeche de Calamari is a plate of yummy goodness consisting of South Australian (SA) local fried calamari, escabeche, causa, soft boiled egg, black olives and celery mayonnaise. This dish was one of my, Sofia's favourites, the perfectly cooked calamari with the soft boiled egg was a great flavour combination and the celery mayonnaise added a lovely tang to the dish. I could eat a whole plate of this!

Arroz con Mariscos $32
Then came the Arroz con Mariscos, a classic Peruvian seafood rice cooked in aji mirasol (sun dried chilli pepper) and rocoto, with NT Barramundi, Boston Bay mussels and SA local calamari, this dish was reminiscent of a Spanish paella, and it certainly is influenced by it, but this tasted a little bit better in my opinion. Paella's tend to be quite fishy, and I, Sofia, am not a big fan of the smell, but this dish was delicious and didn't have any fishiness to it at all. The Barramundi was perfectly cooked and served with a crispy skin, while the calamari rings were soft and tender. The rice was sticky and absorbed the sauce well and was very flavourful.

Costillas de Cordero $28
We were also presented with the Costillas de Cordero, which are Char-grilled SA saltbush lamb cutlets, aji mirasol croquetas, butternut pumpkin and roasted garlic capsicum, my oh my was this dish a stand out. Perfectly cooked lamb cutlets with a beautiful pumpkin and roasted capsicum sauce, this was a flavour explosion. Absolutely delicious, and to top it all off, the crunchy croquetas were delightful, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, just how we like them. This dish was a definite winner!

Ensalada de Pimientos $18
For a taste of something vegetarian, we were served the 'Ensalada de Pimientos' which was a salad of roasted red pepper, fresh basil, aji panca lemon vinaigrette, black quinoa crisp and crushed roasted walnuts. This was an enjoyable dish with great textural balance thanks to the black quinoa crisp and walnuts and a refreshing tang from the vinaigrette.

Pulpo Causas $25
We tried a couple of 'causas' dishes. Causas are cold mashed potato balls topped and served with various ingredients. The 'Pulpo Causas', were potato balls topped with Anticuchera char-grilled SA octopus, red pepper and aji panca dressing, black olive, salsa verde and coriander salsa. The decent sized octopus atop the potato ball was tender and well seasoned and spiced with the dressing and salsa. We tasted elements of tang from the dressing, and freshness from the salsa and herbs, which worked well with the startchy potato, to make quite a filling small bite.

Tomate Causas $20
We also tried the vegetarian 'Tomate Causas', which were potato balls topped with fresh tomato, torn basil, black olive paste and parsley aji amarillo dressing. A simple dish packed full of flavour. The cold potato balls and fresh elements of tomato and basil, soften the usually Wintery potato to make this a great Spring/Summer dish.

Costillitas de Chancho $14
Last but not least the 'Costillitas de Chancho' were another favourite of the night. These spare pork ribs served with huacatay (a Peruvian herb) sauce and chimichurri, were tender, meaty and finger licking good with a subtle kick of heat. The almost salsa type chimichurri on top was great texturally and taste-wise brought something a little more exciting to the usual ribs and sauce. They also lightened the dish overall to make it perfect for warmer seasons. 

Mestizo Interior
Chefs and Owners Renzo Canepa & Justin Hamam
Perhaps it was the food, the wine or the company, but we felt right at home, comfortable, enjoying delicious food and chatting the night away about the wonders of South America. We knew for sure that we would be back again, if only to indulge in our favourite dishes and share this hidden gem with our friends and families once more. The best part about the food at this cocina, is that it wasn't heavy or greasy, it was just right, fresh, tasty and satisfying. We hope the rest of Adelaide discover for themselves the joy of the Peruvian kitchen!

For a little behind the scenes of the menu tasting, check out this awesome video G Advertising put together, with some of the night's highlights.

Mestizo Cocina Peruana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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