Quezon City favorite Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen, which ceased operations at its old Sgt. Esguerra branch last year, is back.
“We were big fans. We used to eat the Peruvian chicken almost every other day,” said John Terence Po, the managing partner of the resurrected restaurant at the Pioneer Center in Pasig.
At first, Po’s group offered to partner with the previous owners. But instead of just taking a share, the previous owners just sold the entire business.
It was also fortuitous that one of the new owners was thinking of changing the concept of the old Breakfast Club in Pioneer Center into a South American/Mexican concept just as the group acquired the rights to the menu and recipes of Don Andres.
Sour notes on fresh raw seafood are just one of the similarities of Filipino and Peruvian cuisine. The Ceviche de Pescado, made with mahi-mahi, is a nice dish for people who love kinilaw. Instead of vinegar, this ceviche is made with the strong distinct sour notes of lime with a dash of their yellow chili sauce. This is a meal in itself with sweet potato, canchas (Peruvian toasted corn) and sweet corn kernels.
The Choros a la Chalaca (mussels with corn salsa) has the slight spice of the corn salsa and citrus complementing the freshness of the mussels.
Of all the appetizers, the most unique one is the Pulpo al Olivo (sliced octopus), a Peruvian starter served with saltine crackers and a dip made out of Botija olives.
The Peruvian chicken is a mainstay that is the heart of the Don Andres menu. This is what made the old restaurant — perfectly juicy roasted chicken served with a side of chimichurri, spicy mayo, and the ahi sauce, a vegetable sauce that has vegetable and onion notes. You can have this with Arroz con Mariscos (seafood with rice) for a filling healthy meal.
New to the menu are the pork ribs and pasta dishes. The BBQ Back Ribs were added to the menu because of the Filipino’s love of pork. These are cooked with Peruvian spices that diners can smell as it is being brought to the table.
The pastas are sauced with the current dishes of Don Andres like the Lomo Saltado pasta.
If you’re looking for something light, the Tallarin con Mejillones is made with white wine broth, mussels and topped with bits of parsley.
Close the meal with Molten Chocolate Cake, thoughtfully served in a mug topped with ice cream, or the velvety rich Tres Leches. Don Andres’ version of the key lime pie, the Pie di Limon, balances the sweet and the sour, and nicely continues the citrus theme of the meal.
Many regulars have missed the food at Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen with South American visitors making the trip all the way from Makati for the food. Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen 2.0 is sure to get these regulars making the trek to this new location.
Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and is located at the Pioneer Center along Pioneer Street in Pasig. The restaurant is still in soft opening and will waive its 10% service charge until the end of Aug
Jeeves de Veyra/ABS-CBN News