A Philosopher who fell under the spell of Peruvian cooking. A Nicaraguan who decided to become a Peruvian chef in El Salvador. An entrepreneur and a TV personality, Roberto is the heart and soul of this restaurant, in one of the most diverse cities in Central America. Under the shadow of the volcano, his high end restaurant, where politicians, diplomats and celebrities are amongst the usual crowd, has been a hot spot in San Salvador for the past 12 years.
His travels all over Peru, and later the intensive cooking classes and apprenticeships in many of the best restaurants in Lima, taught him the secrets of our magnificent cuisine. Two years later, he opened the restaurant of his dreams in the growing city of San Salvador. Since day one, Roberto had a mission: to bring Peruvian gastronomy to the local scene, and honor it without compromising neither the quality nor the exquisite flavors of our dishes.
To achieve this goal he had to import the ingredients directly from Peru: giant kernel corn, different chili peppers, scallops, baby octopus, giant olives from Ilo and Moquegua, purple corn for chicha morada; even pisco and wines. His journey has been one of continuous hard work, but the rewards have made it well worth it every inch of the way.
The menu is long and tempting, and some of the restaurant’s best sellers are the cebiches, tiraditos (similar to cebiche but with the fish cut differently and without the onion), causas (the classic with chicken or seafood, and others with piquillo pepper or sweet potato), seafood salads and gratinées, a winner lomo saltado (pollo saltado, with chicken instead of beef, is also a favorite dish), arroz chaufa (Chinese fried rice with vegetables), arroz con mariscos (rice with seafood), cebiche de pato (duck cebiche), chupe de camarones (shrimp soup), parihuela (seafood soup), salmón a la algarrobina (salmon filet with carob sauce), cau cau (seafood stew with potatoes and ají), seco de corvina (fish filet cooked in a flavorful cilantro and ají sauce). For dessert: alfajor con helado and mousse de maracuyá. And from the bar: pisco sour, coca sour, pisco punch, maracuyá sour, chilcano, piscopolitan, pisco sunrise, and the list goes on.
In addition, for the weekends, Roberto opened a new restaurant in the countryside, amongst the most beautiful coffee plantations. Apaneca, with its wonderful scenery, is the place the doctor prescribed to relax and have a nice lunch enjoying the breezy weather of the mountains.
Roberto shared with us one of his delightful recipes, and I give it to you here.
Scallops in orange sauce
24 clean scallops
2 tablespoons butter
1 oz. Brandy
Salt and white pepper
3 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 oz. Cointreau
2 small leeks
In a saucepan over high heat, melt the butter and sauté the scallops for 2 minutes. Add Brandy, and flame the scallops (put a match near the Brandy in the saucepan and the flames will start, subsiding in a few seconds). Turn off the heat, transfer to a bowl, and reserve.
In the same saucepan heat the orange juice, sugar, and Cointreau, and boil over high heat until reduced by half. Add the scallops and turn off the heat. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, slice the leeks very finely, combine with flour, salt and pepper, strain the excess flour, and deep fry the leeks in hot oil for a few minutes. Do not let them brown. They have to be crispy but not golden because they burn in a matter of seconds.
Where to find it:
Calle El Tanque # 130 99 Ave. Norte y 7ª. Calle Poniente Bis, Col. Escalón, San Salvador, El Salvador
Phone: (503) 2263-2413 / (503) 7982-4589 / (503) 7769-6075