As the name of the restaurant suggests, Totora is a Peruvian cebicheria, specializing in ceviche and promises a taste of Peruvian food. I am a noob when it comes to Peruvian cuisine as I haven't tried a single dish yet, so I gladly obliged when I received an invite as I was also curious about what Peruvian dishes are like.
Located at Gate Village 7 in DIFC, Totora fits right into DIFC's chic scene. This wooden hanging bridge led us to the modern chic restaurant, with turquoise and lime green interiors and hidden lights adding a refreshing vibe and a great contrast to the earthy fixtures.
Being not well-versed with Peruvian cuisine, I already came prepared with just having whatever the server would recommend, until I saw a set menu that's already prepared for us. Apparently, it's a private dinner for Zomato bloggers which should be at 7pm, but they accommodated my request of having it at a later time since my schedule won't permit.
Our Peruvian feast started with Pisco Sour, a traditional cocktail of Peru made with Pisco (a Peruvian brandy), mixed with egg whites, lime juice, and bitters. It has a sweet and tangy start with a slightly bitter alcoholic kick as it goes down the throat.
|Pisco Sour - AED 55|
This Peruvian specialty may be unique as a whole, but the ingredients are very much familiar. A dish of raw fish cured in lime juice and spiced with Peruvian chili, the ceviche is just like our very own kinilaw or kilawin.
|Cebiche Nikkei - AED 50|
|Cebiche de Bario - AED 65|
|Cebiche Champinones - AED 45|
Not a fan of raw fish, but this Cebiches Nikkei from last night's dinner at @totoradubai is a total game changer. The fresh tuna chunks cured in lime juice with avocado, onions, cucumber, seaweeds and Peruvian chillies in Nikkei soya sauce were surprisingly delicious! • #zomato #zomatouae #bloggersdinner #totoradubai #PeruvianFood
Although of Japanese descent, sushi rolls are also part of the Peruvian cuisine. Encapsulated in traditional Japanese sushi rice are red snapper and avocado. What made the Quinoa Roll distinct is the quinoa replacing the usual tobiko and the rocoto sauce which is pepper-based instead of soy sauce and wasabi. This one's a winner.
left over meat. :p
|Empanadas de Carne - AED 30|
|Anticuchos de Pollo - AED 40|
|Seco de Cordero - AED 80|
|Quinotto - AED 95|
|Arroz con Pato - AED 95|
The Tres Leches was made of a sponge cake on a pool of condensed and evaporated milk, topped with whipping cream and berries. This has got to be the best Tres Leches that I have tried. I loved how the milk was poured just right when the dessert was served, making the sponge cake not soggy. It had the right amount of sweetness (it actually tasted like leche flan) and the berries added a little sour kick.
|Tres Leches - AED 45|
|Clasico Peruano - AED 45|
Overall dining experience was fun. Peruvian cuisine is not that hard to love as it has a lot of resemblance to Filipino cuisine. Ambience was superb and service was commendable—the staff was well-versed and serving time is fast—but if we factor in the quality and taste of the dishes, especially the mains and appetizers, I don't think I'd be willing to shell out some bucks.
TOTORA CEBICHERIA PERUANA
Gate Village 7, DIFC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 399 9666
We were guests at Totora and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.