El Sotano, a new culinary experience in Lima, Peru

Food — By Isabel Guerra on April 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm
causa maki peru japan cuisine lima

"Causaki", a fusion of the Peruvian "Causa" and the Japanese Maki. Potato, seafood, veggies, japanese sauces. Spectacular and deli.

El Sótano is one of the newest traditional-fusion cuisine places in Lima; not trendy (yet!), still keeping a low profile, located not in Lima nor Miraflores but in the “green district” of La Molina, this new spot is definitely a must if you consider yourself a true foodie, or simply if you have a few free hours and want to try a different, original and delectable experience.

El Sótano” (which means “The Basement”) is a family-owned, and family-run place led by its chef, Santiago Santolalla (19), who may seem quite young but proves to have a special talent for his job. Not only his customers and his teachers state this: the prestigious Institut Paul Bocuse (acknowledged as the best gastronomy school in France) has appointed him (and some other chefs in Peru) to attend its intensive and very selective program in Gastronomy and Restaurant Management.

El Sotano’s contribution to the many varieties of Peruvian cebiche is the cebiche cremoso: the traditional cebiche but with re-created with a creamy texture, served with fried shrimp, squid, tender corn and sweet potato.

ceviche cebiche Lima Peru El Sotano

Cebiche Cremoso ("Creamy ceviche"). The most recent all-Peruvian creation at El Sotano.

Let’s focus on food. Santiago describes his cuisine as one “with a strong Peruvian identity but also with a touch of fusion with other international cuisines”. In a few words, he takes the traditional Peruvian récipes and reinvents them by adding or substituting an ingredient, a spice, a way of cooking, a garnish, etc. The results are delicious, and the colorful presentation of each dish will for sure amaze you.

Peruvian cuisine El Sotano Lima Peru risotto

"Risotto a la Huancaina" with Chicken pieces in "Arroz con pollo" sauce. 100% Peruvian with some international touch. A must.

You know Peru has three natural regions: Coast, Mountains (Andes) and Jungle, and therefore many regional cuisines, ingredients, flavors. Here you have a chance of enjoying dishes that combine the best of each regional cuisine and and blend them with a delectable touch of either Mediterranean or Oriental cuisines: and all of these creations are made with natural and 100% in-house processed ingredients.

Peruvian cuisine Arroz Pachamanquero

"Arroz Pachamanquero de Mariscos" (a pachamanca-flavored risotto with seafood). Coast and Andes in one dish, with a Mediterranean touch.

You may want to take a diferent city tour, for a, let’s say, 9am-4pm experience: visiting the Museo de la Nación, then the Museo de Oro, next, the Puruchuco archaeological site, and then finish with a delicious late lunch at El Sótano. And if you decide to stay in La Molina, close to large parks and far from the city’s traffic, there is even a very nice hotel just one block away from El Sotano, and another one a few more blocks away.

Regarding prices, El Sotano is quite affordable. Let’s point out at the fact that the servings are very generous, enough for two people. Average prices per dish range somewhere between S/.18 and S/.30 soles (US $7-12), desserts between S/.6 and S/. 12 soles (US $2-5), there’s a kid-friendly menú and, in addition, you will find executive lunches (combos) for S/. 16 soles on weekdays.

Dessert time! All banana-based. Peruvian, Mediterranean and Chinese fusion.

And to top it all, since this is a truly family-run restaurant, you will feel like at home: chef Santiago cooks side-by-side with his father Rafael, and his mother Marcela will warmly welcome you.

Don’t forget to ask for the desserts of the day!

El SOtano Lima Peru

Friendly, home-like dining room at El Sotano.

El Sótano

Los Constructores 1061, Urb. Santa Patricia, La Molina

Tlf.: +51 1 364-7010

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