I read about Bonito Pescadería a couple months ago in a local publication and one of the main reasons I wanted to dine here was because of their strong commitment to responsible and sustainable fishing.
The owners of Bonito Pescadería, Ricardo Laca and Khabir Tello (an avid diver as well), opened their doors in July of 2017. The day of our visit we met with Ricardo Laca. We chatted briefly about the restaurant’s commitment to promoting the use of artisanal fishing in regards to the methods (free divers, artisanal fishermen), consuming non-commercial fish species, respecting the size and age limits and the seasons. They use no frozen fish, only fresh. They also do not use MSG or any artificial seasonings. Their appreciation and respect for the sea was very obvious, as well for the customer.
The vibe inside Bonito Pescadería is a combination of vintage, eclectic and nautical. The wood used for the tables, chairs and other areas is recycled. I immediately noticed the eclectic artwork of visual artist, Nani Cardenas. There were four distinct pieces of her art displayed on the walls, many of which use recycled materials as well. Her mermaid was very whimsical. Various ocean photographs on the walls as well. Nautical touches everywhere such as nets, many sea shells, including prickly sea urchin shells, the fish and wave mural on the exterior wall, etc.
The menu at Bonito Pescadería is divided into four sections……the cold dishes, hot dishes, items that use only Bonito fish and their specials board listed on the wall.
The restaurant changes their seasonal menu three times a year.
We began our dining with the Degustación de Causas (S/. 38). This is an ideal dish to order if you want to share. There were four distinct varieties presented on the plate: Pulpo al Olivo Verde, Pescado Acebichado, Cóctel de Langostinos and Tartar de Bonito (smoked). The base for all four, of course, was the mashed yellow potato mixture. Our absolute favorite of the four was the shrimp cocktail (coctel de langostinos). The shrimp were plump and fresh, and bathed in a golf sauce and accented with small pieces of avocado, hard-boiled quail egg, small orange segments and a sprinkle of togarashi. I must also mention the pulpo al olivo verde version. This dish used tender slices of clam and pota (similar to cuttlefish which has tentacles similar to octopus and a similar texture, this is used often when octopus is not in season). Typically purple olives are used to prepare this popular, creamy sauce, but this version used green olives instead, which are milder. This causa was topped off with toasted, chopped castaña nuts. I felt these two were very distinct versions with nice twists.
The Cebiche Amazonico de Bonito (S/. 35) was a nice change of pace and included slices of bonito fish, plus many products from the jungle…..diced cecina (a type of smoked bacon/sausage from the jungle), charapita peppers, patacones (bananas that have been fried, smashed and fried), diced avocado, red onion slices, and canchita (toasted corn). The leche de tigre was prepared with cocona fruit. I found this to be a unique version of ceviche and satisfying for those that want to stray from the classic versions. Be careful eating the charapita peppers….they are extremely hot.
The Cebiche de Pescado (S/. 30) used perico fish the day of our visit along with sarandaja beans, choclo (fresh corn), cilantro, canchita (toasted corn), slices of red onion, aji limo and a few other subtle and extra touches. This was hands-down one of our favorite dishes. I am very finicky about my ceviche and both of their ceviches were generous in size, but more importantly, the fish was extremely fresh, “made at the moment” and not swimming in too much lime juice. I would definitely return for their ceviches.
The Muchame de Bonito (S/. 22) was a welcome surprise. The bonito fish is very similar to tuna in its firm texture and darker color. Bonito is a bit oilier and stronger in flavor, but also less expensive. It is also high in protein, low in fat and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. In this dish, the fish is coated with salt and sugar and then it takes a couple days to “cure”. The result is a delicious smoky flavor. This dish was presented on a large plate with thin slices of the fish with a generous amount of a sauce prepared with diced tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and aji amarillo on top and accented with cubes of avocado. The fish is meant to be eaten with the slices of ciabatta toasts that are provided on the plate. I thought this was a very good version of muchame, not overwhelmingly strong and all the ingredients complimented each other. An ideal dish for sharing and an excellent value for money too.
The Conchas Lole Lola (S/. 20) were exquisite! They deserve a return visit to Bonito Pescaderia as well. These conchas de abanico (fresh sea scallops from Paracas) were another hit at our table. The four, extra-large sea scallops were prepared in their shell with a liberal amount of butter, garlic confit, and an aji amarillo paste and grilled briefly. Small segments of citrus fruit were used for the final touch. Decadent deliciousness!
The Lomo de Bonito Saltado (S/.32) is similar in its preparation to the popular lomo saltado, but instead uses the bonito fish. The fish was cut into large cubes and sautéed in a wok along with the right amount of slices of onion, tomato, and aji pepper. We felt at our table that the dish needed more seasoning and could have been a bit juicier…a bit more salt and soy sauce. Other than that, it was satisfying….the fries were crunchy, and the fish was not overcooked. Typically I skip the rice, but the one that accompanied this dish was excellent. The white rice was mixed with corn and infused lightly with ginger, cinnamon, clove, garlic confit, and jamaica peppers and accented with black sesame seeds.
Don’t forget to order their excellent homemade chicha morada (traditional purple corn beverage) if you are not in the mood for alcohol.
I have observed that the majority of fish restaurants typically do not serve desserts, so we were pleasantly surprised to be offered a dessert to end our dining experience. The Choco-Lucuma was a wonderful creamy combination of five layers of chocolate mousse, brownie and lucuma mousse and topped off with toasted nuts.
Bonito Pescadería is the Ideal place to find simple and fresh seafood dishes. The prices are reasonable for the quality and the portions are generous. BonitoPescadería’s motto is: “fresco=saludable=sostenible” (fresh=healthy=sustainable). They practice what they preach.
Calle Berlín 536, Miraflores
Capacity: approx. 55 people
Hours: open 7 days per week
10:00 a.m. open only on the terraza for sandwiches
12:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sandwiches: S/. 9-14
Cold dishes: S/. 7-36
Hot dishes: S/.20-45
Specials using Bonito fish: S/. 21-35
Specials: S/. 20-35
Beer: S/. 7-16
Cocktails: S/. 14-26
Wine: S/. 14-16 (by the glass)
S/. 28-80 (bottle)
Non-alcoholic Beverages: S/. 5-15
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