THE closest we’ve been to Peru is footage of Paddington Bear rescued from an Amazon torrent. But put a Pisco Sour in our hand and we’re half way there. A it happens at Peru Perdu they make a mean version of this signature cocktail blending lemon juice, egg white, simple syrup, bitters and native Pisco brandy.
It’s the essential aperitif at this all-day, 78 cover Peruvian-inspired pop-up at The Cotton Factory inside The Whitworth Locke aparthotel. After which the food choice, served from the large open kitchen, centres on U.W.A Uruguayan wet-aged, grass-fed steaks, ceviches and an an array of small and large plates, from market grilled fish and prawns to a creditable plant-based choice. Here are five dishes we recommend.
The national dish – fresh raw seafood cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají, chili peppers or other seasonings including chopped onions, salt, and coriander. We marginally preferred the tuna version, with coconut and coriander, served with plantain chips, to the salmon one with herb mayo and rice crackers. Each costs £8; for £30 you can share seabass, crab and tuna ceviches with matching Torrontes, that spicy Argentine white (from the best South American wine list in town, outside Gaucho).
2 RED PRAWNS
Substantial crustaceans these, sizzling off the grill with lime, chilli and plantain chips. £18 but worth the splash-out.
3 QUINOA BOWL
For your superfood fix there’s a choice of three, all vegan, each £9.50. The Red combines avo, pomelo, roast aubergine and spinach; the White roast corn, orange, coriander and seeds; the Black (our bowl of choice) peas, broad beans, asparagus, prune and pomegranate.
We did a 250g rib-eye cap (£18) with straw potato garnish, much tenderer than our own can be, but all the cuts sound attractive. Accompany with a chimmichurri sauce and for wine a sturdy Uruguayan Tannat is recommended.
5 PINEAPPLE WITH COCONUT ICE CREAM
Sweet potato crumble and a wedge of coconut ice cream on a roasted half pineapple is a canny dessert, acidity and toasty sweetness in fine harmony,
The Peru Perdu concept comes from Miam Miam Glou Glou, a boutique hospitality consultancy. Its core team includes Angus Cameron Pride, whose Manc cv includes Gaucho, The Alchemist and Evelyn’s. Consultant chef was David Gale of One88 in Whitefield.
Named after the mill it calls home, The Cotton Factory was created by The Initiative Group to enable up and coming food traders to feature, offering exciting new food and drink menus on an evolving basis. Mexican-themed El Camino had the debut residency.
LEARN HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CEVICHE
Into this Peruvian vibe? if you want to learn how to make your own ceviches at home check out Peru Perdu’s Ceviche Masterclass and Peruvian Feast on Saturday, November 30. Tickets cost £65, available here. Oh yes, and pisco ours are included.
Peru Perdu at The Cotton Factory, 74 Princess St, Manchester, M1 6JD. Food is served daily from 12pm every weekday, opening from 10am at the weekends for brunchers.