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Restaurant Review: Cusco’s Fallen Angel offers earthly delights

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All of your senses will be stimulated in this unique establishment in the corner of Plaza Nazarenas – a block away from Cusco’s main plaza. The decorations, chairs, tables, and even the napkin rings, have been conceived and designed by the owner Andrés Zuñiga to create a truly different dining experience.

The “Fallen Angel” he explains comes from the myth of a heavenly cherub wanting to experience life on earth. After doing so, he does not wish return , but rather chooses to continue experiencing all the sensations and emotions of a life on earth.

The idea of the restaurant is to introduce such sensations to the clientele, providing spaces to talk and listen. The artwork provokes a reaction from the diner, music plays in the background, aromas waft from the kitchen and even the tables are actually old cast iron bath tubs, with glass tops, and double as aquariums.

Dominating the outdoor patio is a huge modernistic statue of an angel holding court over the entire building. From nothing but a literal ruin, this building has been lovingly restored to the original space one can enjoy today.

With its own wine cellar and complete bar, The Fallen Angel is also highly regarded as a place to pop into for drinks, soak in the vibe and just enjoy all the artworks (all for sale) and general ambience.

Well known for making good classic cocktails like margaritas, daiquiris and martinis, the bar staff also puts a spin on these with such personal favorites like the maracuya daiquiri (featuring the tart passion fruit) or a new angle on the pisco cocktails.

Organic green leaves playfully adorned with bright red and yellow cherry tomatoes were the base of the salad that arrived next. The vibrant orange sauce was made with mandarin, ginger, pisco, vinegar and chillies and lent a sharp bite to the chicken croquettes that came with this salad. This was a perfect light meal to be enjoyed in the sunshine of the patio under the gaze of the Fallen Angel.

Sword fish, wonderfully browned so the firm meat was not too dry, came served with runner beans and the local habas bean (like a broad bean) with the small new potatoes intriguingly sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The deep rich soy sauce complimented the meaty steak well, and it was all finished with the decorative flourishes of the petals of a small blue flower found here in the Andes. Not an Andean dish by any means, it falls within the restaurant’s idea of bringing new things to Cusco and allowing tourists and locals alike to experience something new and not so familiar.

Another fish dish, the salmon trout was precisely cooked to arrive moist and beautifully-colored in its crispy skin next to a pastel de papas made with Andean yellow potatoes; it was covered with a local cheese that added a gentle saltiness. T butter-based sauce was flavoured with capers, limes and parsley – creating a mouth-watering plate that had me salivating before tasting and drooling after!

Adobo is often called the “best hangover cure in the mountains”. However Fallen Angel’s refined recipe has elevated the traditional pork stew to true restaurant status.

It is served with sliced chuño – the Andean dehydrated potato – and the earthy flavor provides a well-proportioned balance to the assertive salsa that includes such local ingredients as maize beer and chili pepper. The result was a fresh new tasty twist on a dish seen for sale all over Cusco.

Duck is not seen so much on Cusco menus, even if ambling about in Andes one can see various species happily bobbing up and down on the lake waters or on the swifter rivers running to the Amazon.

At Fallen Angel, the meat was so well cooked that it melted in the mouth, gently dispersing its flavours – and the soft soothing puree it came with was such a unique experience that I could have happily just eaten it alone: camote (sweet potato) provided the base with lucuma (a jungle fruit often used for desserts or as a flavour for a refreshing drink) adding its own distinctive flavor.

With all these subtle and soft flavours the pineapple & mango chutney offered a mildly acidic bite that ensured this meal is one to repeat again.

A delightfully eclectic space, one should at least stop by The Fallen Angel and experience “something new and different” in Cusco. This is a dining experience to recall for years to come.

This restaurant is well-known and frequented by tourists and locals alike, and booking is highly recommended in the evenings as it can often be very full. Most main dishes are around S/. 40.

Opening times: 11:00 – 23:00 weekdays. 14:00 – 23:00 weekends.
Address: Fallen Angel. 221 Plaza Nazarenas (kitty corner from the Monestario Hotel)
Email: fallenangelincusco.com
Tel: + 51 84 258 184

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