Flavorful Latin dishes at Cocina Peruvia, Podium

The South American country of Peru is home to a cuisine that is a melting pot of various influences: from European (Spanish, Italian and German), to Asian (Chinese and Japanese) and West African.  With the culinary inputs from other cultures arising from colonization, trade or immigration, Peruvian cuisine has grown in flavorful and inclusive diversity that it has been cited by food critic Eric Asimov as one of the most important cuisines, being a model of fusion fare.

This much-vaunted fusion of flavors came into play when I had lunch together with fellow foodies from #SaanSaPH at the Cocina Peruvia branch in The Podium in Ortigas Center.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

The place had a colorful and festive feel to it, highlighted by greetings of “Buenas tardes!” from the staff.  The dining area was spacious and airy with window seats offering a chill view of the Ortigas commercial district.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia’s menu was developed by Chef Him Uy de Baron, with Peruvian chef Andres Higa as consultant, to bring Peru’s grand fusion of tastes to Filipino diners such as those included in our tasty lunch repast:

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Anticuchos de Corazon de Vaca (Php320). Skewered grilled cubes of ox heart, accompanied by aji anticucho (mayo-mustard) sauce and chimichurri (garlic-parsley) sauce.   Definitely one of the restaurant’s more exotic offerings, it exemplifies the types of meat dishes that became popular as inexpensive street food in Peru.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Patacones Salmon (Php320). Flavorful slices of cooked salmon covered by a parmesan cheese and mayo mix on top of a patacon or a twice-fried slice of plantain banana and served with sofrito sauce. If you ever need to satisfy a craving for cheesy baked salmon, try this out!

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Adobo Peruvia (Php400 | Php1,190 grande). It’s the first time I’ve heard of Peru having its own version of adobo.  Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised considering its similarities to the Philippines when it comes to having a colonial past. Tender, slow-cooked pork belly slices are place on a bed of cream sauce and accented by sliced tomatoes and onions.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Arroz Verde con Pollo (Php320 | Php790 grande).  Chicken slivers sauteed with rice, mixed veggies and cilantro, great when paired with the Adobo Peruvia.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Pollo a la Brasa (Php380 | Php750 grande). Roasted chicken served with fried potatoes, aji green (mayo-cilantro) sauce, chimichurri and salsa creole.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Linguine con Carbonara (Php280 | Php520 grande).  Peru’s version of seafood carbonara with shrimp, squid and mussels in a creamy garlic butter sauce tossed into linguine pasta.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Galera de Chocolate (Php350). A exotically decadent dessert of dark chocolate ganache served with candied figs and tortilla chips.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Banana Shakes (Php120).  Both choices offer a fresh take on the banana shake: the Banana Pineapple has a more tropical taste while the Banana Mint features a cool, refreshing taste.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

These dishes gave me and my fellow foodies an awesome taste of Peru’s fusion cuisine! On my next visit, I look forward to trying out more of Cocina Peruvia’s parilla line and desserts.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

This Cocina Peruvia branch is located at Fifth Floor, The Podium, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries or reservations, call +63 2 9073958 or +63 9176351862.

Another branch is located at Level 3, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries or reservations, call +63 2 9892752 or +63 9176315797.

Disclosure: Together with other #SaanSaPH foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Cocina Peruvia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of similar restaurants:

Filipino food you can take comfort in at 13 Ubay Street, Banawe

It was a wet and rainy evening when I made a long hop over from my workplace to Quezon City’s Banawe area to attend a Zomato Foodie Meetup at 13 Ubay Street Comfort Dining.

As I made way through Banawe’s narrow streets in the rain, I grew apprehensive thinking on where to park when I got there. Fortunately, the restaurant’s ground floor mostly serves as it parking space, giving diners somewhere convenient and secure to park their cars. According to the restaurant’s owner, Chef Zaza Sarmiento, parking space was one of her non-negotiables when it came to her resto’s layout: a boon, I’m sure, to many motorists who just want to feast on her brand of Filipino food.

13 Ubay Street, Banawe

Upon entering, diners are treated to a feast for the eyes with a tasteful display of various eclectic artwork which were taken from the chef’s own family collection and travels. From the array of masks reminiscent of Bacolod’s Masskara Festival and the huge colorful mural at the staircase to the photos depicting local life on the walls (taken by her grandfather), the restaurant’s interiors are unique and indicative of the personal and family memories close to the owner’s heart.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

The dining area, which takes over most of the restaurant’s second floor, is quite spacious, able to accommodate an entire family reunion or an office Christmas party.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

Together with other Zomato foodies, I partook of another feast: this time of dishes that Chef Zaza deemed as among her favorites yet are underrated. These were classic Filipino flavors and recipes that she gave her personal touch to and made from scratch, in line with her vision to bring families and friends together over good food.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

We started with some Spanakopita (Php170). These are triangular deep-friend pockets filled homemade laing, tinapa and kesong puti (white cheese made from carabao milk), and served with a dipping sauce of braised tomatoes.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

Among the chef’s number ones is the Sinigang sa Lechon Kawali (Php410). This dish made of deep-fried pork belly boiled in tamarind-sour broth with red raddish, kangkong (water spinach), sitaw (string beans) and okra has a sweet aftertaste that sets it apart from other versions of sinigang.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

Its version of Beef Pares (Php390) on the other hand, brings slices of beef brisket stewed until tender in the restaurant’s pares sauce. It is best enjoyed with the restaurant’s homemade chili garlic sauce.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

Vegetarians have something healthy yet hearty to enjoy as well: the Mushroom and Tofu Salpicao (Php180) brings a mix of button and shimeji mushrooms sauteed with deep-fried tofu cubes in a garlicky sauce.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

Our meal was capped with a delectable scoop of homemade Langka Ice Cream (Php70). Jackfruit is a staple in many Filipino desserts but is seldom an ice cream flavor so this serving is a rare treat.

13 Ubay St. QC

13 Ubay St. QC

Plus, if you like your Filipino food with with some refreshing craft beers and ciders, you’re in for a treat: 13 Ubay Street is also the home of Elias Wicked Ales and Spirits.

13 Ubay St. QC

There’s much to like at 13 Ubay Street, all centered around the resto’s desire to give comfort to its diners.

As can be gleaned from its name, this restaurant is located at No 13 Ubay Street, Santa Mesa Heights, Banawe, Quezon City.  For inquiries and reservations, call + 63 2 5796484 or +63 917 8762692.  It is open daily at 11am to 2pm and at 5pm to 11pm.

If you want to taste these homegrown dishes with a twist but don’t want to leave the comforts of your home, you will be glad to know that the resto also delivers via Honestbee.  Register using this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.

Trivia: Did you know that 13 Ubay Street also served as one of the locations of the teleserye “Pangako Sa ‘Yo”?

13 Ubay St. Comfort Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

13 Ubay St. QC

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

 

Take a sneak peek into the beginnings of your favorite influencers with LikeToKnow.It

Ever wondered how your favorite IG mavens got their start? The print offshoot of the app-based shopping service that makes the Instagram pics of many Instagram influencers instantly shoppable, LikeToKnow.it: Stories from the Influencer Next Door, delves into how these IG stars got their start.

Photo by Daria Litvinova on Unsplash

Collated and curated by editors of LikeToKnow.it, the stories contain interesting narratives of how these influencers were able to turn their passions – which range from fashion, beauty, food, interior design and homemaking – into thriving online businesses. Common themes among their stories that their fans can learn from are:

Passion for their area of interest.  These enterprising folks are tuned in to their passion, building expertise and credibility in their respective fields, and are motivated to share their favorites to the world.

Support from family and friends.  Building an online presence, especially on one’s own, is never easy, but with help and encouragement from their loved ones, they were able to pursue their dreams.

Great financial and personal rewards.  Having built their following and established their expertise, they are able to enjoy financial freedom.  Some are earning enough to support their families that their spouses quit their jobs to help them with their online business.  Others share their feeling of gratification at being paid to do what they love while spending more time with loved ones.

Photo by Igot Miske on Unsplash

Featured influencers include fashion mavens Molly Sims (@mollybsims) and Courtney Kerr (@KERRently), lifestyle gurus Liz Joy (@purejoyhome) and Kelly Larkin (@kellyinthecity), food and nutrition bloggers July Bauer Roth (@paleomg) and Tori Wesszer (@fraichenutrition), among others.

Photo by Chikeun Park on Unsplash

The stories, accompanied by gorgeous shots of influencers doing and sharing what they love best, will give readers a tantalizing inspiration to get started on bringing their own dreams to life. Note, though, these Q&A-type narratives are by no means comprehensive and do skip most of the early struggles and sacrifices that most businesses go through.

LikeToKnow.it: Stories from the Influencer Next Door, published by Greenleaf Book Group, will be released on September 18, 2018 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com!

Thanks to NetGalley and Greenleaf Book Group for the advanced reader copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Photo Credits: Ewan Robertson, Daria Litvinova, Igor Miske and Chikeun Park on Unsplash

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