Limo – Peruvian-Japanese fusion in Cusco, Peru
Cusco is a beautiful city in Peru, known mainly for its proximity to Machu Pichu, but also as the previous capital of the Inca Empire. It is situated amidst rolling hills, and at an altitude of 3,400 meters, it’s the perfect place to spend a few days adjusting before attempting the trek to the world-famous ruins.
So this is exactly what we did. Machu Pichu had been on the cards from the beginning, and we booked it all the way back in September to make sure that we could get the exact trek we wanted (we later found out it’s very easy to book only a few days in advance… oh well). Having spent quite a bit of time in Bolivia, we were used to the altitude, but my friend’s mother and brother were not, so we used the time to explore Cusco and its sights, smells, and food.
Almost immediately, we fell in love with the Plaza de Armas, the main square in town. With two churches, countless happy dogs, and beautiful arches, we spent a lot of time wandering around, and when we heard that there was a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant with a view of the whole thing, we couldn’t resist.
Limo is one of seven restaurants forming the ‘Cusco Restaurants’ group, and one of two we visited on our trip (the other one being the MAP Cafe, review to follow soon). It is situated right on the plaza, but as it’s on the second floor, it is slightly removed from the chaos, with a gorgeous view. As soon as you walk in, your eye is drawn to the bar, with dozens of different kinds of pisco lining the wall. Upon perusing the cocktail menu, which has an entire section dedicated to Peru’s national drink, we then understood why Limo calls itself not just the home of Peruvian cuisine, but also a Pisco bar.
We opted for the No Me Mientas, which had a refreshing watermelon flavour, and felt like a mintier version of a pina colada. And the Sombra tasted like I was back on a beach in the Galapagos Islands!
Before we even began, to whet our appetites, we received a very Peruvian dish: deep-fried potatoes! Peru boasts an astonishing 4,000 different types of this root vegetable, and this was a floury variety, served with three incredible salsas for dipping. Our favourite was the aji-based one (que sorpresa!), but the minty one (which was reminiscent of an Indian chutney) as well as the garlic mayo were mopped up with glee.
After this Peruvian delight, we switched over to Japan, and Limo’s famous sushi rolls, which were beautifully presented and had amazingly fresh ingredients. Both incorporated a level of fusion; the acevichado was likely one of the best rolls I’ve ever had, with a leche de tigre-esque sauce, and the pulpo (octopus), whilst not quite as convincing as the acevichado, was topped with oregano to prevent it from being purely Japanese.