So we all know that Paddington Bear came from darkest Peru, but what did he eat before arriving in London? Peruvian cuisine incorporates a fascinating mix of influences, with immigrants from Spain, China, Italy, West Africa and Japan all leaving their mark on what have now become national dishes.
There are a couple of Peruvian restaurants around Sydney, but Misky Cravings is one of the newest additions, providing the focus for my December Eat This! column in Time Out Sydney.
And as 2011 draws to a close, I want to thank you all for your comments, emails, suggestions and feedback throughout the year. They mean a lot to me! Here's to an even more delicious year in 2012. Happy New Year everyone!
Causa de atun $8
WHAT IS IT?
It looks like a savoury birthday cake, but causa (pronounced ‘cow-sa’) is much more than that – it's a classic Peruvian dish that is emblematic of early European influences on local ingredients. The three core components are yellow potatoes, avocado and aji amarillo yellow chilli peppers, all ancient ingredients native to Peru. Add Spanish black olive slices, boiled egg and lashings of mayonnaise and you’ve got a cool and refreshing mashed potato terrine, layered around a filling of pollo chicken or atun tuna (both $8).
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
Get along to Misky Cravings in Fairfield – it opened in July but has already gathered a loyal fan base, mostly South American ex-pats. Misky means delicious in Quechua, the language spoken by the Incas in ancient Peru. The restaurant can be difficult to find – hidden within the depths of a non-descript arcade – but keep an eye out for the red and white laminated menus stuck to the glass doors on the street. The décor is plain but smart and much more jovial on the last Sunday of every month, with live music at lunchtime.
Arroz Chaufa de carne $15
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
The all-Spanish language menu can be a little daunting at first [EDIT: Misky Cravings now have a dual English and Spanish menu with detailed descriptions here], but staff will happily take their time to translate and explain each dish to you. Chinese dishes like arroz chaufa fried rice with five spice and soy sauce ($15) reflect the long history of Cantonese migrants to Peru. “In Peru we have Asian flavours but done in a Creole style,” our waitress explains.
Ceviche de pescado $15
WHAT SHOULD I ORDER?
Start with the refreshing ceviche de pescado ($15), raw chunks of John Dory fillet marinated in lemon juice, coriander and chilli and garnished with slivers of red onion. It’s a generous portion, especially with the steamed white corn, toasted corn kernels and a large nugget of cooked sweet potato on the plate.
Pescado frito whole fresh trevally with cassava $15
Lomo saltado flambe beef strips with chips and rice $15
Chupe (full serve $15)
Stewed large prawns with traditional Pervuian spices, toasted yellow chilli and a
combination of fish, vegetables, prawn broth, potatoes, cheese, milk,
corn pieces, rice and poached egg
Inca Kola and Chicha Morada purple corn juice
Skip the usual soft drinks and try the Inca Cola that tastes more like creaming soda. Chicha morada is a purple corn drink that is sweet and spicy with hints of cinnamon and cloves.
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2/164 The Boulevarde, Fairfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9726 4771
Wednesday to Friday 12noon-9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am-9pm
This article appears in the December 2011 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [read online]
More Time Out Sydney reviews:
Akash Pacific Cuisine, Liverpool (Fiji Indian cuisine)
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Cyprus Community Club Aphrodite Restaurant (roast baby goat)
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African cuisine)
Everest Kitchen, Marrickville (Nepali cuisine)
Good Kitchen, Hurstville (Hong Kong cafe)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
Kambozza, Parramatta (Burmese cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Mario Tokyo Pizza (Bulgogi Korean pizza)
Olka Polka Bakery & Deli, Campbelltown (Polish cheesecake and rye bread)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
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12/30/2011 01:07:00 a.m.