We knew the food was good in Peru. We were expecting it to be so.
After a less than inspiring meal at "Rosa Nautica" in Lima where the shrimp were frozen, even though the restaurant is built over the sea, we were hoping for improvement in Arequipa.
We found it.
Chica por Gaston Acurio is located in a beautifully restored building, opposite the monastery on calle Santa Catalina. You will be truly blessed if you eat here.
My friend and I ordered two main meals; Lechon a la criolla and Triple Tradicion. The first included beautifully prepared, moist pork belly with a native potato gratin and green salad. The second offered three servings of traditional Peruvian cooking - ocapa, stuffed pepper and fried pork rib.
The presentation detail deserved to be photographed and I did. Our shared desert was a sinful collation of berry and cream cheese crepe, raspberry sorbet, chocolate foam and a delicate frond of caster sugar praline. I wanted to sin again, yet our meal sizes had been generous and common sense prevailed.
The service was impeccable. I have a problem with citrus and the waiter was careful to indicate all meals that could have been problematic.
Our final surprise was the price. At first we thought the amount was in US dollars. No, it was in Soles.
So when your soul is in need of a little angelic sustenance in Arequipa, you know where to go.
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