When it comes to cuisines, we think we have got restaurants that cover them all. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican and even Mediterranean. While these are the popular ones, there are many tastes and flavours that are creating waves internationally but have yet to make their way to Indian shores. One of the hottest, trendiest cuisines at the moment is Peruvian food and it has found its entry to India via the Park Hyatt Hotel in Goa.
The hotel has decided to bring a small part of Peruvian food to their sea facing seafood specialist restaurant Palms and now when you visit, you have the option of dining from an exclusive Ceviche menu. Ceviche (which is pronounced SAY-VEE-CHE) is a style of cooking that is not only extremely popular in Peru but in most parts of central and South America. Simply, it is the process of cooking raw fish in lime or any strong citrus juice. The dishes are served cold and there is no heat or direct cooking involved, as the raw seafood cooks in the lime and is absolutely safe to eat.
The Ceviche menu is spearheaded and all the restaurant Chefs have been trained by Peruvian Chef Bruno Andrés Santa Cruz who is currently at the Hyatt Regency, Istanbul. Which is reassuring because it is a delicate style of cooking but full of flavours. It is one of the few times you can actually taste the fish without it being full of curry or spices. Expect some absolutely fresh seafood as they only use the freshest catch. This is ensured by Chef Bruno and his team as they personally go to the market each morning to pick and choose their fish. The menu is of course subject to change as they include or take off dishes depending on what is available. Just like how the Japanese insist on the freshest produce for their sushi.
While the style and method of cooking is Latin American and there are hints of Peruvian flavours all around, the emphasis along with fresh ingredients is to use local ingredients. You won't find anything on this menu that is not sourced from Goa. From lobster, red snapper, scallops, crabs and muscles along with red onions, corn, lime and coriander, these are elements you can expect to see on the menu. They have also gone a step further to include some wonderful Pisco cocktails which is a Peruvian favourite. Pisco is a colourless potent brandy made in Peru and Chile. It tends to take the flavour of what it is drunk with and the Pisco Sour cocktail has many fans all over the world.
While the core menu focuses on ceviche, there are other dishes with distinct Peruvian and Latin American influences including a fish and chili soup, quinoa, a tres leches sponge cake and the most incredible passion fruit cheesecake. While the ceviche menu boasts of the freshest seafood, the hotel has not forgotten their vegetarian patrons and also had a select vegetarian menu with ingredients like avocado, palm heart, eggplant and mushroom.
If you have any plans to visit Goa this season make your way to Palms at Park Hyatt Goa and try this wonderful cuisine. It is worth the effort. After all a meal by the beach is never a bad idea.
Follow Roxanne @The Tiny Taster
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.
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