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Restaurant Review: Qalani

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A cebiche bar is, maybe, one of the greatest concepts recently invented in the Peruvian cuisine and Qalani is a good example of why they have become so popular.

7 (5)
Interior (Photo: Maria Alejandra Baraybar/Living in Peru)
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Qalani offers fresh ingredients (especially, fishes and sea food), quick service, a casual atmosphere, a stationary menu and portions to share or to sample. The different types of plates make it adaptable to many occasions: from a night of drinks to a family lunch where you can ask for a whole fish prepared as you want, fried, as a cebiche or however else you prefer.

The main attraction for this seafood restaurant is its proximity for office workers. Located near the business center of San Isidro, in Lince district, they offer ‘the dish of the day’, that could be a chicken barbecue or plates of traditional Peruvian cuisine. You can also choose the Tapeo’s options to taste some of the creations made by Renzo Miñan, chef and owner of Qalani. The octopus in olive cream with avocado served in a jar (S/ 11), the deep fried squid with tartar sauce (S/ 11), or the Pejerrey’s sandwich (S/ 9) are perfect as a complement (and also, very economic).

If you want to try the classic cebiche, they have four options, each one with a different chili or an ingredient that makes it peculiar (one of the innovations of Miñan is the cornbread of the north of Peru). Two ‘leches de tigre’ and three kinds of causas (with vegetables, octopus and crab pulp) shows the ability of the chef to innovate the traditional Peruvian dishes with a twist of originality. “We are changing the menu constantly for people who come once a week”, says Renzo.


Muchame (Photo: Maria Alejandra Baraybar/Living in Peru)

For our visit, Renzo presents a ‘bonito’ curated in salt, dressing with olive oil and served with tomatoes and avocado. He calls it ‘muchame’, because of the antique preparation of Callao’s port. Also, in Qalani you will find creole cuisine options (lomo saltado and fettuccini with huancaina’s sauce). The different types of rice dishes are another specialty of the house.

We tried the rice platter called ‘Arroz del chino’ (S/ 27) that comes with grilled fish, a moist omelet with prawns and shellfish and a smoked oriental rice with vegetables; a well-served portion that combines different textures and tastes. The northern rice is made with Loche’s pumpkin and the creole one comes with seafood and a ‘chalaquita’ sauce. Another specialty is the Qalani jalea (S/ 25) that arrives with all of the seafood of the season that you can imagine.


Arroz Chino (Photo: Maria Alejandra Baraybar/Living in Peru)

For the next few months, you will find in Qalani some ideas taken from the picanteria concept, like a cau cau or olluquito. If you are planning an after office, the bar has different drinks with Pisco, Peruvian beer, wine and an extra menu for this kind of moment.

Qalani means vigor and perseverance in Quechua dialect and these two concepts can always be found in the open kitchen of this cebiche bar!

 

Qalani
Rivera Navarrete 2785, Lince

Tuesday to Sunday, 11.30 – 16.00

Friday, 11.30 – 24.00

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Javier Ernesto García Wong Kit

Javier García is a Peruvian journalist that writes for news, magazines, and websites about ecology, gastronomy, sports, and culture, specially Nikkei culture for APJ and Discover Nikkei. He teaches journalism at San Martín de Porres University and is the editor of the book of chronicles "Tentaciones Narrativas" (Redactum, 2014). He is also the founder of La Mesa - Pase y Pruebe, a fan page about news and events of gastronomy and culture.

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