For an exquisite lunch or night out, try the creative proposals of Wallqa, the restaurant and bar of Le Cordon Bleu Peru.
Being a Le Cordon Bleu alumni, I hold a special place in my heart for this place. The restaurant Wallqa is part of Le Cordon Bleu Peru Corporation and has been operating for ten years. During its run many a handful of chefs and many (many) students have passed and grown up to be great chefs in the local and international scene.
Led by General Manager Arturo Piedra and with almost two years under the Executive Chef Diego Pomez, Wallqa offers a creative Peruvian-inspired menu that changes twice a year.
This season they decided to reduce and go back to the basics, maintaining a creative flair throughout the entire menu.
They have a well-equipped bar that offers many cocktails, coming from the Le Cordon Bleu Cocktail career offered. This season the head bartender Luis Chavez offers drinks using not only pisco but also tequila, rum, vodka, whiskey and gin (not necessarily together).
Julep Andino, a whiskey based drink, was fresh and well balanced with natural flavorings of muña (Andean mint) and hierba luisa (lemongrass). For a Tiki-inspired tequila based cocktail with an amazing smokey taste try the Naylamp. There is also the recommendable cocktail Afrodita, with berries and vodka.
The menu is organized with piqueos (small plates/snacks) to share in which you can experience some drinks and share with friends. From a take on Salchipapas (basically fries tossed with sliced sausages) to their incredible barbecue wings that are sweet/tangy/spicy in all the right ways, there is a wide range of options in this section of the menu.
If you want a more structured menu for lunch or dinner you can go with a starter, such as a fresh ceviche (at Wallqa it is well balanced and juicy), or their Rocoto relleno served over a quinotto with a cream infused with cecina (a smoked and dried pork belly form the Peruvian jungle). There is also the Pastel de choclo serrano, which is served on a sweet corn bechamel. This dish is sweet and savory and unctuous with grated cheese on top.
When you move to the main courses their Lomo saltado is juicy, and well executed: the onions are not soggy and have the right amount of juice, the potatoes are twice fried so they are very crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Their Arroz con chancho norteño consists of a slow cooked piece of pork belly that is then roasted so the meat is tender and the connective tissue has turned into a gel. Paired with the crunchy skin on top and the creaminess of the rice that accompanies the dish, the mix of textures is perfect.
To finish the meal you can select one of their Peruvian desserts like Crema volteada which is a dense version of a flan made with evaporated milk. There is also the chocolate cake with chocolate sauce, Arroz con leche and mazamorra morada—which has a great flavor and contrast in colors, temperatures and complementing flavors.
They also offer a daily Executive menu which consist of a smaller portions of the appetizer, main and dessert for S/25.
Finally, during the summer and until Easter, Wallqa will be managing the seafood bar at The Club House at Playa Gaviotas, from Friday to Sunday. A special menu is made available as well as a bar cart serving cocktails. On the bar they offer a huge jug of leche de tigre which is very refreshing and filling.
There is also a tasting trio where you can have smaller portions of Arroz con mariscos, Jalea Mixta and Ceviche clasico, among different options to eat in or take out to the Beach house.
An average meal per person is around S/100 (without drinks).
Now, go out and eat well!
All photos: Maria Alejandra Baraybar
Av. Vasco Núñez de Balboa 530, Miraflores
Hours: Monday-Friday, 12:30pm-3:30pm and 7:30pm-10:30pm; Sunday, 12:30pm-4pm (closed Saturdays)