Wednesday, 4 July 2018

A Taste of Santiago de Chile in Less Than 24 Hours

Santiago is a huge city with lots of greenery and beautiful colonial architecture as well as a booming street art and music scene. However it is the majestic snow-capped Andes mountains surrounding the city that truly made it more special and unique. Don't miss a visit to this lovely city when you travel to South America.
Above photo is of Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago which towers over the old-fashioned Plaza de Armas, the symbolic heart of Santiago since 1541.

At night, Plaza de Armas is buzzing and full of life.

Cerro Sta Lucia is a small hill in the centre of Santiago. Visitors are greeted with a gorgeous Neptune fountain surrounded by trees. 

Did you know that Chile is the longest country in the world from north to south?


For foodies, Mercado Central must be on your must-visit list in Santiago. This is the place to go for fresh local Chilean seafood. We went there in the morning when all restaurants at the central area of the market were still closed but that was not what we came here for. We opted for the more authentic and less touristy food stalls and smaller restaurants around the perimeter of the market. They have similar menu at a fraction of the price and just as good.

Seafood soup with pandesal and salsa. Good things come when you least expect them. This soup is definitely a star-worthy dish.

Erizos (Sea Urchin, Onion, Coriander and Lemon Juice)

Pastel de Jaiba (Crab Pie in a dish) Santiago-style.


Ceviche con Corvina (Chilean Sea Bass)

Abalone Casserole

Santiago's Mercado Central

Huge and colourful cakes sold in a bakery.

Papa Peruanita is a type of potato that has a distinctive bi-color skin. Peru is said to have over 4,000 types of potatoes. Purple Corn or Blue Corn is used to make chicha morada, a popular sweet Peruvian beverage.

Caihua or Slipper Gourd and Kiwano or Horned Melon
Pepino Dulce 

Churros are a popular street food originated in Spain and adopted in various former Spanish colonies in Central and South America. These fresh and fabulously crunchy churros were absolutely delicious. 


This famous cocktail called Pisco Sour originated from Peru is also considered a South American classic.

The street art here is gorgeous and it's everywhere! Part of the fun of travelling is taking the road less travelled and discover some hidden gems. The upscale neighbourhood of Bella Vista is one such gem, bursting with number of beautiful street murals and eye-popping graffiti. It is impossible not to be captivated by its funky vibe and seemingly endless open-air art.

If you are an adventurous eater like me and will not hesitate to try new flavors, textures and sensations, I recommend you try and experience Peumayen Ancestral Food which is also within the vicinity of Bella Vista.

For spectacular panoramic views of Santiago, head up to Cerro San Cristobal by cable car.

A lovely and serene statue of the Virgin Mary at the top of Cerro San Cristobal 
and one of the seven vibrantly painted crosses along the path.


Yi Yi Restaurant
Mercado Central, San Pablo 943,
Local 105, Santiago Centro, Santiago

Yi Yi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 1 June 2018

Central Restaurante, Lima, Peru

I feel grateful to have had the privilege of dining at one of the best restaurants in the world, Central Restaurante last year. This restaurant has been bursting with top awards as well as holding the title of "Latin America's Best Restaurant" for the past three consecutive years. So what's it like to eat here?
Dinner at Central was more than a meal, the menu will take you to different levels and altitudes. It was an enchanting culinary journey from the Pacific Ocean to the high mountains of Andes, exploring and discovering the diversity of its ingredients. Dishes were presented like art and each one an adventure for your tastebuds. It was a tantalising world of unique flavours and every bite was heavenly.
*Central Restaurante is moving to a new location in Lima this June 2018.

the studio 

Rock Mulluscs
Sea snail. Mussel. Sargassum. Limpet (-10 M)
Under the sea we had Sargasso seaweed cracker served with dip made from sea snails, mussels and limpet.

Thick Stems
Olluco. Chincho. Onion. Field Mustard (3500 M)
We are now at a higher altitude. The soup came with a sample of Olluco (pink root vegetable).

Waters of Nanay (part one of two dish)
Piranhas. Cocona. Achiote. Huampo Bark (680 M)

Waters of Nanay (part two of two dish)
Piranhas. Cocona. Achiote. Huampo Bark (680 M)

Forest Cotton (part one of three dish)
Churo. Gamitana. Pacae. Llanten (300 M)

Forest Cotton (part two of three dish)
Churo. Gamitana. Pacae. Llanten (300 M)

Forest Cotton (part three of three dish)
Churo. Gamitana. Pacae. Llanten (300 M)

High Jungle (three part dish)
Went high up in the jungle with Macambi. Cassava. Copoazu. Air Potato (2,800 M)

Cassava (one of three part dish)

High Jungle (two of three part dish)
Macambi. Cassava. Copoazu. Air Potato (2,800 M)
Love the smokiness of the coca infused butter, it smelled and tasted wonderful.

High Jungle (three of three part dish)
Macambi. Cassava. Copoazu. Air Potato (2,800 M)

Sample of air potato.
Large but light, this air potato grows high up in a climbing plant in the jungle.
Marine Soil
Sea Urchin. Pepino Melon. Razor Clam. Seaweed (0 M)

Land of Corn
Kculli. Purple. Chulpi. Piscorunto (2010 M)
A cob of Piscorunto corn was brought to us to show us its beautiful bright red colour.

Sea Coral
Octopus. Crab. Squid. Sea Lettuce (-10M)

Low Andes Mountains
Pork. Black Mashwa. Panca Chili Pepper. Kiwicha (1800 M)

Amazonian White
Cacao. Chirimoya. Bahuaja Nut. Taperiba (400 M)

 Medicinals and Plant Dyes (one of two dish part)
Going back to higher altitude with Congona. Matico. Malva. Pilipili (3050 M)

After watching Chef Virgilio Martinez's Chef's Table episode on Netflix, it piqued my interest to travel to Peru. I just want to hop on a plane and head to his restaurant in Lima. Few months later, my dream of dining at Central came true and met the man himself, Chef Virgilio Martinez and his team of talented chefs.

Central Restaurante
Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores, Lima 15074, Peru
+51 1 2428515