Peruvian cuisine is not so well known in the Philippines for most people but there’s now a few restaurants to try around the metro. Don Andres used to be located in Quezon City but transferred to Kapitolyo specifically inside the Pioneer Center compound under new ownership. They are eager to introduce Peruvian cuisine, similar in many ways to Filipino cuisine, to a more diverse clientele.
I love the bright and happy colors of the interiors anchored by a large mural and lots of other interesting touches.
Choros Ala Chacas (P340), Peruvian mussels with citrus corn salsa. This dish is very easy to understand with flavors familiar to most palates. The mussels are large, meaty and fresh tasting paired with a chunky salsa that has a refreshing zing. Best way to enjoy this is by the whole spoonful so you get the interplay of flavors.
Ceviche de Pescado (P380). Marinated fish cubes in citrus with yellow chili sauce (aji criollo), served with sweet corn, cancha corn and sweet potatoes. Peruvian ceviches make use of citrus juices for cooking the seafood in place of the vinegar used in our local kinilaw. The flavor is smoother and fruitier but equally enjoyable. The cancha corn is popcorn like accompaniment made from maiz chulpe that are addictingly good. Mix everything together or eat it piecemeal but the different textures and flavors will dispel any boredom for your taste buds with a light spiciness in the end that serves to entice even more.
Pulpo al Olivo (P340). Octopus marinated in citrus juice served with Peruvian Botija olive sauce and saltine crackers. Saltine crackers might be a little weird but it gives a lighter base for the octopus and the olive sauce which has a strong olive flavor but not bitter.
Pollo Ala Brasas (P149-690). This is the easiest Peruvian dish at Don Andres to understand. Roasted marinated chicken rubbed with Peruvian spices for a more exotic yet still familiar flavor. It is served with a trio of sauces, chimichurri, aji verde sauce (Peruvian green chili) and chili mayo. The meat is juicy and flavorful and I just had to eat the skin because it had the delicious smoky, slightly peppery, tangy spices. Best side dishes are of course rice, fries or marbled potato salad.
Arroz con Mariscos (P395). If you want your rice to be more of a spectacle with this bright yellow rice with assorted seafood and spiced with cumin.
Tallarin con Mejillones (P360). Pasta is a new addition to the Don Andres menu because of a clamor from their diners. This is a very simple pasta dish of chopped mussels, white wine and parsley, quite similar to spaghetti vongole.
Lomo Saltado (P420). A classic Peruvian dish of stir fried beef tenderloin strips with onions, tomatoes and fries. Even though it’s cooked with fries, this one calls for rice, lots of it. The beef strips are tender with a mix of sweet and salty flavors that the fries make a good job of sopping up.
You can end on a sweet note with their trio of desserts, Tres Leches (P165), Chocolate Lava Cake (P185) and Pie de Limon (P155). The chocolate lava cake is the most visually interesting, served overflowing in a large cup but it the the Pie de limon that my tummy enjoyed the most. Tangy lime sponge cake with a torched top worked great in washing away all the flavors of the meal.
I enjoyed my first meal at Don Andres and they’ve solved their biggest problem in QC, the lack of parking spaces. The location is great because after the meal you can go and walk your full tummies off in the supermarket, looking for some great finds.
Don Andres – A Peruvian KitchenPioneer Center Supermarket
Pioneer street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Contact No. (63917) 508-0773