We returned to Lima from Cusco, and were met by our driver. As we drove to our hotel, we noticed riot police, armored vehicles, helicopters flying above, and soldiers on the roofs of several buildings. When our driver noticed we were staring out the window, he told us: "today Fujimori is coming back to Peru." Yes, not only did we return to Lima, this was also the day that Ex-President Alberto Fujimori was being extradited to Peru. The whole city was buzzing......
The rest of the drive to Miraflores was uneventful, and our driver was a pretty quiet fellow, until we started talking about Cebiche and Tiradito. He ended up making a few recommendations fairly close to the hotel. One of these was Alfresco, a nice restaurant on a side street of a mostly residential area in Miraflores.
In search of just a light lunch, the Missus ordered the Ceviche Alfresco (Alfresco style ceviche - s/28.50 - approx $9.50US). In this case the marinade for the ceviche was of the "creamy" variety, and served with standard sweet potato and corn.
As mentioned before, the Missus has never met a camote(sweet potato) She didn't like. The quality of the fish was excellent, tender and just slightly chewy. The leche de tigre(ceviche marinade) in this case was pretty mild, much too mild for the Missus. She told me it lacked the zip that She enjoys so much.
I ordered the Tiradito Alfresco(s/24.50 - approx $8US). This was a very unique version of Tiradito. The flavors were distinct, yet very delicate at the same time. You could make out the taste of garlic, but the sour tones were not lime, and there was a bit of "fruitiness" to the flavor and fragrance.
The Sole (Lenguado) was very fresh, and the texture was classic Shiromi(Japanese for White fish) firm, light, with a mild, yet tender, chewiness. That marinade had me hooked. We finally inquired about the Tiradito, and our Server, who spoke perfect English, told us the marinade consisted of Garlic, Lemon Juice in place of Lime Juice, and good Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This European treatment of Tiradito suited me well, I truly enjoyed it.
It seemed that so far on this trip, the Tiraditos had the upper hand on the Cebiches. We discussed that as we walked back to our hotel. We had taken a taxi ride from our hotel to Alfresco, but found that Alfresco was close enough to walk, which we enjoyed.
Malecon Balta 790
In stark contrast to our earlier stay in intense Central Lima, Miraflores was much more laid back and upscale. You still felt like you were playing out a real life version of Frogger, taking your life into your hands when crossing the street, but you could drop Miraflores right into any large coastal city in the US and not miss a beat. We stayed at the very sleek and modern JW Marriott.
The Marriott in Miraflores rises like a monolith over the Pacific Ocean. The hotel itself is built on those cliffs, and every room is supposed to have an ocean view. When I originally booked our rooms, I had thought that a few nights at the hotel would be a nice segue before returning home. The hotel is very modern, with excellent facilities, and like most 4-5 star hotels, the service was superb. There is also a small and modern shopping mall, Larcomar (more on Larcomar in a future post) right across the street, and most of the cafe culture of Miraflores is just a 10-15 minute walk away. The hotel is rather staid and cold looking, and the charm and warmth of a smaller boutique hotel was missing, but we had no complaints.
The view from our room of the Pacific Ocean, and part of Larcomar, which is built into the cliffs overlooking the ocean. I was told that the best time for the beach here is from December through March, when it is more humid and sunny. During other months, the shoreline is usually shrouded in fog and mist.
Taxis are located right across the street, though they are everywhere. For our initial ride to Alfresco, we approached the line-up of taxis, and a woman aggressively walked up to us. We mentioned Alfresco, and she told us "15 soles, it is far....". Fortunately, the Missus had asked our driver about the going prices of taxi fares to get around Miraflores, and we were told, "No more than 3-5 soles", so we tried to bargain. But this woman insisted on 15 soles. As I stood back, I made eye contact with a kindly looking driver, and he walked up and said, "Si, Alfresco 5 soles...." Sold! The woman, had a few choice words for the gentleman, who just shrugged his shoulders....... We found that various taxi rides in Lima can be a bit of an adventure in themselves, more on that later.
I created a category for our Peru posts, they can be found here.