A great experience for foodies looking for a fine-dining tour of gourmet Peruvian cuisine.
The Astrid y Gaston restaurant is an iconic Lima restaurant located in the stunning Casa Moreyra in the San Isidro neighbourhood. This is the flagship restaurant of Peruvian celebrity chef Gaston Acurio. Named after Gaston and his wife Astrid, this has long been a firm fixture on the Lima restaurant scene and is currently ranked 33rd on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. It’s definitely worth a visit if food is one of the key reasons that you travel.
The tasting menu changes every 6 months and is currently based around the theme ‘Lima of all Bloods’. A tribute to the rich history and culture of the city designed to give visitors an insight into Peruvian culture and cuisine. It showcases the best of ingredients and traditions from the province of Lima and is a nice way to try some of Lima’s best dishes like ceviche, seafood caucau and suckling pig.
It had been over two years since our last visit to Astrid y Gaston and we had a memory of fabulous food but a somewhat stuffy, formal atmosphere. It was a pleasure to return and see all the positive changes including a more relaxed, laid-back ambiance, friendly staff and both a tasting menu and a-la-carte dining options.
We had the nine course tasting menu with wine pairing which took us on a journey of the signature dishes on their menu. We enjoyed the pisco scallops served on a bed of ice and seaweed with creamy avocado, basil pesto and nitrogenised apple ice. A visually stunning dish with a nice mix of flavours and textures that worked perfectly together. This is definitely a more traditional menu with the typical ceviche and fish chupe or soup making a tasty appearance.
Some of the courses were stunning like the Pekinese guinea pig. It came served with a purple corn tortilla with a soft texture that worked great with the crunchy texture of the guinea pig skin and the tender meat inside. We loved the gyozas with seafood caucau – dumplings filled with shrimp and a spicy seafood sauce which were delicious. The delicate flavours of the Northern murique grouper had a lovely mix of textures in the pea puree, crunchy radish and seco sauce.
Desserts are Astrid’s domain and include a modern take on the typical ‘tres leches’ or three milk cake dessert which was creamy yet light, with a subtle hint of vanilla and orange. We also loved the petit fours which came served in an ornate wooden box and accompanied with a cinammon pisco liqueur to enhance the flavour of the chocolate.
The restaurant has an extensive wine list with over 250 wines. Their focus is on pairing the menu with interesting bio-dynamic and organic wines from around the world which are suggested by their knowledgeable team of sommeliers.
Gaston Acurio is Peru’s original celebrity chef who now has over 40 restaurants around the country. We haven’t always had good experiences in his establishments but were pleased to see that his flagship restaurant Astrid y Gaston still remains a world apart from his mainstream eateries. While it has moved down the World’s 50 best list and the menu was definitely less technical than on our last visit, it still remains one of the top fine dining experiences in Peru and indeed South America.
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- The tasting menu is only served until 14.30 and 21.30 each day so make sure to factor this in when booking.
- Check out the herb garden in the front of the restaurant. It was lovely to see so much space in the heart of the busy San Isidro district dedicated to the herbs and plants that are used in the kitchen. We also like dthat they work with lcoal schools and bring groups in once a week to teach them about plants and food.