Review: Paladar 1900: Arequipa, Peru

We were very impressed with the food in Peru. I don’t think we had a bad meal the whole month we were there and it was certainly a relief after coming from Bolivia where the food isn’t that tasty.

(Sorry Bolivia… although we loved a lot about you, we just didn’t love your food.)

Restaurant Paladar 1900 Arequipa Double-Barrelled Travel

Inside Paladar 1900

Eating out for a special occasion

It was our two year wedding anniversary when we were in Arequipa and I knew we had to go somewhere special to celebrate… because if that’s not a good time to indulge, then when is? After a bit of research I chose Paladar 1900 which was a short walk away from our hostel.

As a bit of a side note, Dave and I have decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary in a new city every year… last year we were in London, this year we were in Arequipa and next year we’re thinking Hong Kong. Who knows how long we’ll be able to keep the game up for – but there’s no doubting that this game is a fun one to play.

Anyway, we went to Paladar 1900 and we weren’t disappointed. In fact, I liked the food more than our meal at the OXO Tower last year in London, a restaurant that’s far more well-known.

Arequipa at night Double-Barrelled Travel

Arequipa’s main square at night

Food and drinks at Paladar 1900

The food at Paladar 1900 is a fusion of Asian and Peruvian and it’s pulled off surprisingly well. I never thought I’d find a lot of Asian food in Peru but it was everywhere and my tastebuds were loving it.

We started the meal with sushi that was topped with both crab and salmon. It melted in my mouth – delicious. We washed it down with a strawberry mojito (me) and a whiskey (Dave). My mojito was a little sweet but still tasty – I find South American cocktails can be a little hit or miss so I was glad this one was a good one.

Dave’s choice for whiskey was weird (!) but he’d been craving it for months and was dying for some. He loved it.

Table setting Paladar 1900 Arequipa Double-Barrelled Travel

Our opening drinks

For our main courses, I ordered duck with basil and pesto rice. The duck wasn’t like normal duck I’ve had – it looked more like lamb – but it was soft without being chewy and the basil and pesto rice complimented it well.

Duck at Paladar 1900 Arequipa Double-Barrelled Travel

My duck dish at Paladar 1900

Dave had creamy risotto with bacon-wrapped steak and I have to say his dish was to die for. The steak was possibly the best I’ve ever tasted – it was so tender! I have no idea where the restaurant gets its meat from but they should certainly keep that supplier forever.

We also shared a small salad of tomatoes and cheese, served with a vinegarette. It was presented on a long plate with cherry tomatoes placed on top of the cheese, which was like a feta only it had a sharper flavour.

We enjoyed the dishes with a Cabernet Savingnon from Chile – I can’t remember its name.

Steak at Paladar 1900 Arequipa Double-Barrelled Travel

Dave’s steak

Atmosphere at Paladar 1900

I loved the restaurant as soon as I walked in the door. The building is built from large limestone slabs and you cross through an archway which takes you to a courtyard decorated with white umbrellas hanging upside down from the ceiling. I’m guessing this makes a good noise buffer because the restaurant had a nice ambiance too.

The interior is plush with chandeliers hanging everywhere and arched shelves carved into the walls holding candle displays.

The atmosphere is very romantic and was the perfect place to celebrate our anniversary.

Umbrellas Paladar 1900 Arequipa Double-Barrelled Travel

The umbrellas hanging from the ceiling in Paladar 1900

Service at Paladar 1900

The waiter spoke English and gave us English menus which I was grateful for (We start our Spanish lessons next week and I plan to be fluent by the time we finish, so hopefully we won’t have to rely on this too much longer!).

The staff were super thoughtful and even though we didn’t order a dessert, Dave had told them that it was our wedding anniversary so they bought out a small cake and a scoop of sorbet on a plate that had Happy Anniversary written on it in Spanish.

Extremely thoughtful!

Paladar 1900 Arequipa Carmen and Dave Double-Barrelled Travel

Our surprise dish to finish off the night

Overall thoughts

If you’re looking to indulge in Arequipa then you should certainly eat at Paladar 1900. You won’t be disappointed. Although expensive for Peruvian standards, it’s still cheap compared to a fancy meal we’d buy back home!

Architecture Paladar 1900 Arequipa Double-Barrelled Travel

The architecture inside Paladar 1900 is completely my style

What you need to know

Cost: We paid about US$100 for the whole meal, including a tip.

How to get there: The address is Calle San Francisco 227, Cercado, Arequipa, and the restaurant is located a few blocks back from Arequipa’s central square.

When to go: We made a booking but the restaurant was only a quarter full – and it was a Sunday night – so I’m not sure a booking is essential.

What’s your favourite place to eat at when celebrating a special occasion?

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About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

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