The Mojsa restaurant Puno is one of the better known eateries in town with a great location right on the Main Square. This is a family business run by the Nuñez family. Founder Enrique Nuñez was a well-known presence in Puno and was actively involved in the local arts and cultural scene and one of the founders of the celebrated ‘Candelaria’ festival held every February.
Mojsa is now run by the rest of the Nuñez clan. Son Enrique is a trained cordon bleu chef and designed the menu while his sister Ursula and her mum Rosa manage front of house along with Laura, Enrique’s Minnesota-born wife.
This is a casual, relaxed restaurant without pretensions. The décor is simple and the focus is on using regional produce to create local dishes that give tourists and locals alike a flavour of the Puno region. While pizzas do feature on the menu, Mojsa is much more than a pizzeria and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of their dishes and the ingredients used in what is mainly a disappointing Puno culinary scene.
For starters try the ‘torrejitas’ inspired by their grandmother Asunción. The gentle creamy flavour of quinoa, cheese and vegetables is given a kick by the tangy fresh mint and onion. We loved the trout kebabs and this was the only place we saw this dish in all our travels in Peru. Moist, tender trout cubes are served with crunchy chunks of onion in a slightly spicy sauce that gives the whole dish a nice kick.
The mains however, are where this restaurant really comes into its own, offering innovative, tasty options. The tender alpaca steak was served with an elderberry and coffee sauce that didn’t overpower the dish. The alpaca cooked medium allowed us to really appreciate all the flavours of this meat. This dish was served with zingy caramelised spring onion, a creamy mushroom wheat risotto and garnished with crunchy sweet potato chips served on a wooden board. Both visually stunning and delicious!
We also loved the ‘Kancacho’. This is a more rustic dish that gives you a lovely taste of the local bounty. Big chunks of melt in the mouth lamb are marinated in a sweet yellow pepper sauce and served on corn leaves. The lamb is accompanied with local ‘paria’ cheese, corn, fava beans and occa potatoes with a traditional creamy huacatay and rocoto chilli sauce all served on a cast iron plate to keep the dish sizzling hot.
Our server Berta, was a smiling presence throughout our meal, helpfully explaining the menu and there was a nice mix of locals and visitors making it feel more like a genuine place to eat than some of the other tourist haunts in Puno.
Mojsa is a simple restaurant with a sincere menu offering excellent quality dishes made from local produce. A nice choice for an evening meal or a hearty lunch in the centre of Puno.
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- Book ahead to reserve a table on the balcony for the best views in Puno. If the balcony isn’t available, head up the bar for a twilight drink with a great view of the Main Square before your meal.
- Mojsa is also a nice spot to come and have a coffee and sweet treat in the afternoon. They use the local award-winning ‘Tunki’ brand of coffee which goes well with their coconut pudding…