Restaurant Review: Nanka

One of our biggest gripes about living in the 'burbs is that we're so far from all of the culinary delights Lima has to offer. This city is considered one of the top foodie destinations in the world, and we really want to take advantage of that. So when several people mentioned a restaurant right here in La Molina, Nanka, we knew we had to check it out. John's birthday was the perfect excuse for a date night.

Nanka features organic Peruvian cuisine. The atmosphere is upscale but not fancy. It was almost empty when we went on a Tuesday night, but our waiter said they have live music on Wednesdays (which means we will never go on a Wednesday; I hate it when I can't have a conversation over a meal) so maybe that draws a crowd. The space is huge and I can imagine it would get very loud on a busy night, but it was nice and quiet for us.

John and I each ordered a drink to start. I had a glass of okay prosecco and John went for the purple-corn beer. He seemed to enjoy it.

The menu at Nanka is HUGE. Pages upon pages, and our food Spanish isn't great, so I was very grateful for the English menu (John forged ahead with the Spanish version but I ended up having to read most of the English menu to him). Vegetarians, diabetics, and anti-glutenites will all find something here, and helpfully labeled to boot.

For appetizers, we tried the potato and yucca balls coated in crispy quinoa and the shrimp spring rolls. The balls were a little bland, even with the two dipping sauces provided. But the spring rolls were amazing. I could have eaten a dozen of those suckers.

We were a little overwhelmed by the menu, so we ended up going with a couple of fairly familiar dishes. John is apparently on a quest to try octopus at as many Peruvian restaurants as possible, so he ordered it once again. I'm not a huge fan of the "toss a massive tentacle on a plate" approach that seems so popular here, but John consumed all of his dinner so it must have been pretty tasty.

My green gnocchi with broad beans, mushrooms, and goat cheese were good, although I found the aji amarillo a little overpowering. It's not a strong flavor per se, but it's very distinct, and it feels like it's in everything here. I like it, but I was hoping for something a little different.

For dessert, John ordered this amazing gluten-free chocolate roll thing. I had the Peruvian version of a mille feuille, with little triangles of flan wedged between the puff pastry layers. Both were very tasty.

The most amazing part of the meal, however, was probably the price. All that food, including our drinks, came to about $80. The affordability of good Peruvian cuisine is awesome, because it means we can keep on trying all the wonderful restaurants here in Lima.


  1. Ok drooling. It all looks so good! (Except the tentacle)


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