Malabar, ambrosial Amazon

Chonta (palm heart) salad.

One of the 100 best restaurants in the world according to the San Pellegrino Guide, Malabar is the place to be if you want food that is overwhelmingly creative (in a good way), and has an ambiance that is both chic and relaxed.

But this is not its only award. In 2009, Food and Wine magazine highlighted the enormous creativity of this restaurant as one of the 20 most interesting food experiences in the world. In 2010, its bar -where the original Pisco Punch created over 100 years ago in San Francisco is served- was praised by the same publication as “stunning.”

Breadfruit blinis, chestnut fresh cheese, and carachama caviar

Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, chef and owner, is a nice and energetic young man; sporty, funny, and totally committed to the research of every ingredient in the Amazon jungle, which is his inspiration and the place where he finds most of his restaurant´s ingredients. A few years ago, even in Peru you could only find Amazonian food in the jungle. A handful of grocery market sellers carried produce from this part of the country to Lima and other cities, but only people originally from this area knew their way to these places. The jungle we share with Brazil, and its culinary secrets, seemed like a distant world, too far away and mysterious for anyone to grasp.

This region is bountiful with exotic fruits, vegetables and sweet water fish. In its rivers you can find paiche, a native fish that grows to 400 lbs, or carachama, another fish covered with metallic scales, resembling a survivor from prehistoric times. Another staple here is chonta, or heart of palm, widely used in its raw form, and shredded like fettucini. There is nothing as delicate in flavor and texture as this native ingredient.

Pedro Miguel makes high-end food using these exotic yet humble ingredients, transforming them into more commercial delicacies, and working hard for them to have the recognition they deserve. In this sense, he lives up to the restaurant’s name, which in Spanish means “juggle”. Besides Malabar, he has another eatery in Lima called La Pescadería, which specializes in fish and seafood, as it’s name (“the fish shop”) indicates, and he is also the consultant chef for Aqua Expeditions, a luxury cruise that sails up and down the Amazon river.

Scallops with green juice

If you are in Lima don’t forget this name: Malabar. A mindblowing experience for the adventurous traveler and foodie that cannot be missed.

 

Malabar:  Calle Camino Real 101, San Isidro. Lima- Peru / Phone: (511) 440-5200, (511) 440-5300

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Comments

  1. wow, amazing place! I love palmitos and I would love to visit this place, everything looks so perfect, delicate and delicious. very nice post and amazing pictures!

  2. I agree with Eliana! The restaurant looks amazing. The decor is so sexy and warm. And the food seems to die for. I wish I lived closer!

  3. Sign me up anywhere where I can get Amazonian food! The chestnut cheese looks sexy and amazing… All so intoxicating. I can smell it here. Isn’t visiting restaurants like this just so special and helpful to our own careers? Fantastic!

  4. The food looks incredible delicious!! I love Peruvian food and Your pictures!!

  5. When are we packing up to go to Peru?
    Amazing!!!!

  6. If I’m in Peru, I’ll check it out! What a gorgeous place.

  7. That last photo looks like art!

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