For some time now I have been a big fan of the Peruvian cuisine at restaurant NAZKA at the Van Ostadestraat in Amsterdam. It is time to put this hotspot in the culinary spotlight! Last week I visited this favourite restaurant again and tasted the new Peruvian ‘haute cuisine’…
Special oysters | NAZKA Amsterdam
Peruvian cuisine is a unique blend of Spanish, African, Japanese and Chinese traditions. Chef and co-owner Christian Motte grew up in Lima, where his love for cooking quickly taught him the secrets of authentic dishes. After training at the Cordon Blue school in Lima, he worked in London, Dubai and Geneva and helped set up pop-up restaurant Quispe on Formentera. At NAZKA you will find classics and innovative dishes on the menu, all originating from Peru’s rich culinary heritage.
These arepas are true comfort food!
On the menu you only pick your main course within the four-course dinner for €54. An accompanying wine menu costs €31. NAZKA treats us to two incredibly photogenic and delicious oysters with salsa brava sauce and grapefruit. We also try the amuse of arepas: fried mini flat rolls of corn flour, which are fluffy inside, served with achiote butter with crumbs of black sesame seeds. The combination of the warm, salty arepas with the soft butter is delicious.
Ceviche | NAZKA menu
No Peruvian dinner is complete without a ceviche:-) The “kingfish tiradito” with cordyceps, roasted avocado, leche de tigre and corn prepared in two different ways, in sour lime juice and soy sauce is ceviche perfection.
Showstopper of the evening… | NAZKA Amsterdam
The next course is the absolute showstopper of the evening: the eggplants with ají panca barbecue sauce, smoked yoghurt, fried padron peppers and chopped peanuts. What a taste explosion! Sweet, fresh, crunchy and the smoked yoghurt is insanely tasty and creative.
Pulpo | NAZKA Amsterdam
We continue our culinary food fest with our chosen main courses. The pulpo with black “risotto” of quinoa, rocoto mayo, chimichurri and pomegranate seeds is always one of my favorite dishes when I visit NAZKA. Although I have to admit that after this evening I have a lot of favorites here. Our other main course is a risotto with lucuma (a Peruvian superfood), scallops and samphire. Unfortunately there is no further explanation when the dish is served, so I can’t name the other ingredients. The contrasting flavors and textures are a great combination. So delicious! The wine is unfortunately forgotten with this course, but that doesn’t spoil the fun.
It’s hard not to fall into superlatives the whole time, but our desserts are amazing too. Wow! The dessert of the day is a Peruvian version of the famous Eton Mess with quinoa ice cream, huacatay (Andean black mint) granite, strawberries and meringue. The Riesling served with this dish is a great match. Our second dessert is sweet corn ice cream, with three different preparations of Peruvian botija-olives. The perfect marriage between sweet and salty. The different textures are particularly tasty. With this last dessert we are served a white plum sake. For me, the taste of this sake is a little too dominant with the refined flavors of the dessert, but is in itself super delicious.
A Peruvian Eton Mess | NAZKA menu
The essence of NAZKA is “el Sabor de la Vida”: a wonderfully relaxed and lively place where excellent food in good company makes you realize what life is really about. The restaurant is in my top 5 favorite restaurants in Amsterdam because of its creative dishes, daring wine choices, good service and cozy atmosphere. Highly recommended!
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