Saturday, March 21, 2020

La Nacional - Lima, Peru

Airports are not known for good food. However, two and a half years ago we visited Hung's Delicacies in Hong Kong, designated the "world's best airport restaurant" by CNN for 2013 and 2014. It was pretty good and far superior to most airport restaurants. But we just discovered what has been designated the "best ever so far airport restaurant" by Cannundrums in Lima, Peru's Jorge Chavez International Airport. 
It was a highlight of our COVID-19 shortened trip to South America. We visited Peru about 11 years ago and I fell in love with Peruvian food and now I regularly go to a local Peruvian restaurant for lunch and occasional dinners. But the best causa and on the same level of the best ceviche I've ever eaten was at La Nacional.  

We started with a couple of juice drinks. Huambrilla, the yellow drink on the left, has pineapple, orange, carambola syrup and jasmine tea in it. Nice and sweet and my favorite at first. D'Lima, the greenish juice on the right, has lime juice macerated in rosemary and soda. It was a little tart, but became much sweeter and my favorite following a taste of the heavily limed ceviche - a wonderful combination. 
The Ceviche Mixto included the fish catch of the day, calamari, octopus (one big piece which I got) and shrimp. It came very heavily limed with choclo (large corn pieces), sweet potato, Bermuda onion slices and dried and salted choclo. It also had one piece of sliced Peruvian red (aji?) chile that lit my mouth up with heat. It was a perfect airport meal - eat a piece, take a swig of D'Lima, sit for awhile, - eat another piece, take a swig of D'Lima, sit for a while, etc. It packed way too much vinegary limeness to eat too quickly. And by waiting between bites, it assaulted the taste buds all over again. 
The Causa Limena was mashed yellow potato, marinated with lime and chili, stuffed with chicken, avocado and homemade mayonnaise. After visiting Peru, we learned to make our own causa: see octopus and smoked pheasant causa. But this causa was better than any causa we've made or had in the U.S. or Peru. The potato was not overwhelmed with lime, there was lots of chicken in the center, lots of fun condiments and the mayonnaise was fantastic with it. 

1 comment:

  1. Both dishes were also so beautifully presented. I was pre-disposed to love them.