The competition is fierce in the area of Miraflores around Caplina, a restaurant that gets its name from a tanker that ran aground on the coast of Lima 50 years ago. The location that we visited on Mendiburu, which is very close to one of the district’s most popular food hubs on La Mar Ave., has been open for nine years. Another location in Corpac in San Isidro has been open for 11.
Caplina’s seafood-heavy menu features good food with decent prices, nice presentations and ample portions. The restaurant is not trendy, but instead has a casual design with various wood accents that showcase bottles and lighting. The black pebble fountain with a walkway in the middle is an interesting touch at the front of the restaurant.
On the day we visited Caplina, we enjoyed a wonderful time in the kitchen behind the scenes observing the owner, Fernando Pacheco, and his friendly staff prepare several of our dishes. The first dish that we shared was a brand new appetizer that was being served for the first time. This lucuma shrimp cocktail was served in a large martini glass with slices of avocado and shrimp, topped off with a generous amount of a lucuma sauce. What a surprise! We were not sure what to expect with this combination of lucuma with a traditional shrimp cocktail, but it was quite delicious.
Another dish that also successfully merged the traditional with the new was the langostinos quinoa, which consisted of large shrimp breaded with a quinoa mixture – instead of the typical panko crumbs – and fried and served with a reduction of passion fruit sauce, which included a splash of pisco, and accompanied by glazed bananas.
One of my favorite dishes that we sampled at Caplina was the seco de asado de tira con trigo. The asado de tira is a strip of meat from the front end of the short ribs of beef. This beef was cooked with a subtle seco sauce, which can occasionally be overpowering since there is quite a bit of cilantro in the sauce, but in this dish it was absolutely perfect and complimented the beef as well as the trigo that accompanied it. Trigo is basically parboiled wheat that has a bit of creaminess and a light, nutty flavor and texture. I find it to be a much better and healthier alternative to rice.
The choncholi de pulpo is perfect for anyone who enjoys octopus. The octopus was boiled and then perfectly grilled with aji panco sauce and white wine, white vinegar, mustard, garlic, rosemary, thyme and oregano, and served with potatoes.
One of the most popular dishes, which we saw on many other tables but did not try ourselves, is Caplina’s “flagship” dish, lomo huancaina, a generous portion of lomo fino served on top of fettuccini with huancaina sauce.
We enjoyed a couple of delicious desserts at the end of our visit at Caplina. One was a fluffy, chocolate sponge cake that was filled with lucuma. Another, which is one of the most popular desserts served at Caplina, was the tulipa de cherimoya, which consists of a mixture of cherimoya fruit, pecans, whipping cream and a dash of pisco, served inside of a crunchy edible cup in the shape of tulip and accented with strawberries, chocolate and a drizzle of crème anglaise (cream and vanilla). This is a must if you enjoy cherimoya.
Caplina has over 80 dishes to choose from, including 12 different ceviches and plenty of options to share with the larger appetizer platters.
Calle Gral. Mendiburu 793, Miraflores
Hours: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Seating for up to 170 people
Valet parking available
Appetizers/Starters: S./ 14.90 – 39.90/74.90
Ceviches: S./13.90 – 44.90/74.90
Main Dishes: S./36.90 – 49.90
House Specialty Main Dishes: S./ 39.90 – S/. 75.90
Cocktails: S./ 14- S/. 17
Beer: S./ 4- S/. 18