A Taste of Peru at Home

With lockdown and the tiered systems sweeping the UK due to COVID, the hospitality industry is adapting to these trying times. Deliveroo, Just Eat and UberEats are now a massive part of our lives. Many restaurants have their own apps and delivery systems. DIY meal kits are taking Instagram by storm. I have to say that I’m a huge fan of the meal kits.

Some restaurants are offering at-home kits, which are halfway between takeaways and DIY meal kits. These involve a wonderfully prepared meal, which must only be heated up and served by you. Lucky for us, the Peruvian restaurant Chakana is offering such kits in the form of a three-course meal for two people!

Chakana is a Peruvian restaurant situated in Moseley. The restaurant belongs to Robert Ortiz, a former head chef at Michelin starred restaurant Lima in London. The name Chakana comes from an ancient Peruvian symbol known as the Andean Cross. It represents individuals living in harmony. I feel this name is very apt, and I would also say that the flavours of the dishes live in harmony too.

After looking at their website, they offer three set menus to choose from, with a vegan option on request. Each sounds lovely but I had to try Set Menu 1 with suckling pig.

Here’s a quick look at the menu:

Menu Option 1: Set Menu Meal for Two –

Starters: Traditional mixed seafood ceviche with cuzco corn, sweet potatoes, tigers milk. Yellow potato chicken causa with yellow chilli mayo and avocado.

Mains: Suckling pig chicharron, yuca root majadito, algarrobina and rocoto chilli. Roast chicken breast with Pachamanca sauce, mixed quinoa, cuzco corn cake.

Dessert – 75% Amazonian chocolate mousse, raw sugar cane syrup.

1. Starters

Alongside the starters, we had the lovely fresh corn bread. The instructions said to heat up for a couple of minutes. This was served with ‘Tigers milk yogurt’. Now, I had absolutely no clue what tigers milk was but after a quick google, this is what it is: ‘Leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk, is the Peruvian term for a citrus-based marinade that normally cures the seafood in a ceviche’. Oh, thank god.

So let’s start at the very beginning. I would say I was most apprehensive about the starters, purely because I’m not a fan of corn and I wasn’t convinced by the flavours. However, I am happy to say that I was proven very very wrong! The seafood ceviche was absolutely beautiful – fresh salmon, tuna and some type of white fish. I haven’t got a clue what thee flavours were but I’m obsessed. I’d absolutely love to have this in the restaurant when it is able to open again!

The chicken causa was another winner. I’m not sure what was involved, if I’m honest. But it’s definitely worth a try.

2. Main courses

While the starters were being eaten, the main courses and vast array of sides were to be put in the oven for 15 minutes. Perfect timing to devour the starters, to be honest.

Now I was most excited for the Suckling pig because it sounded beautiful and looked even better. And, honestly, it exceeded even my high expectations. Wow. It was so soft and absolutely FULL of flavour. Amazing.

The roast chicken was lovely too, although I would have happily eaten twice the amount of pork to replace it. A lovely array of sauces were provided though, which were excellent additions to the chicken.

The sides included basmati rice, quinoa, yuca root (similar to potato) and corn cake. All were nice. An all-round beautiful main course.

3. Dessert

I was also excited about dessert because I am a HUGE fan of chocolate mousse. It smelt lovely and looked incredibly rich. I paired mine with Carte D’Or vanilla ice cream and Sainsbury’s finest salted caramel cream (only because I had both left over from my Thanksgiving meal the day before).

It was very rich but as I am such a chocolate fan, it was perfect for me.

Overall, I loved the entire meal. It was such a lovely treat. Amazing flavours. The Suckling pig absolutely stole the show for me. Thank you to Chakana for coming up with this wonderful concept.

Check out Chakana here. Please note that this is collection only from Moseley.

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