Restaurant review - Peru Perdu, Manchester
PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 December 2019
Copyright 2018 Lucas Smith Photography
A thrumming all-day dining spot that'll be churning out inventive cocktails, ceviche and Uruguan wet-aged steaks during its six-month residency at The Cotton Factory on Princess Street
The Peruvian food scene has been making waves for the last decade: gaining traction on the world culinary stage and bursting into the capital with a smattering of superb restaurants (Coya, Ceviche, Lima). Now Manchester has caught on with the arrival of Peru Perdu - a thrumming all-day dining spot that'll be churning out inventive cocktails, ceviche and Uruguan wet-aged steaks during its six-month residency at The Cotton Factory on Princess Street. The duo behind it will be hosting a clutch of innovative pop-ups over the next three years, of which the team are (for now) keeping schtum. But to Peru Perdu: inside there's the open kitchen, overlooked by diners perched on bar stools, grazing on small plates and watching the chefs whisk steaks off the open grill. There are succulents and cacti dotted around; there are bold textiles and rattan light shades; and there's a Latin American-style-dancey-soundtrack doing the rounds. Evidence of an already growing fanbase, the place was heaving on my visit, despite only being open for a week. It's the sort of place you can pop into for an after-work drink, and end up staying for hours, lingering over cleverly cooked plates and punchy cocktails.
Kick things off with a pisco sour and a rich and beefy empanada as you scan the menu. Small plates-wise, there's tiger-milk fried chicken, coconut prawns and duck tostadas. But the tuna ceviche was a genuine pretty plate of zingy loveliness: fresh-as-you-like fish with zesty strings of pepper and chilli. Same goes for the crab ceviche, strung with rice noodles and chilli and coriander. Mains include braised duck with red rice, pork belly with chilli and coriander, and red prawns with lime, chili and chips. But for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, steaks slathered in chimichurri are always going to hit the spot: we shared a slab of flavour-packed rib-eye and fillet, both of which came chargrilled on a wooden board, paired with a cracking malbec. If you're a sucker for sugar-laden puds, there are tasty little numbers like dulce de leche cheesecake and caramelised bananas. But the espresso martinis won me over - robust with hints of chocolate. Is Manchester ready for a Peruvian restaurant? No doubt - this place is going to be an instant hit.
Peru Perdu, The Cotton Factory, 74 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6JD 0161 989 0845