Bolivian & Ecudorian in Southwark, London
• Parrilladas del Sur
At this Bolivian place, a juicy meaty piece of grilled beef, topped with a fried egg with a lovely yellow yolk. The salsa is a a serious piece of work -- spicy, in that smoky peppery way, but also zippy and tangy. Good supporting cast of rice, potato and yucca. I'd go again. Will probably go back to try the silpancho.
• Costa Azul
First, a choice between the Ecuadorian or Bolivian menu. After a bit of interrogation, I went for the plate with the ceviche mixto and guatita, a surf and turf of sorts. The ceviche was very fresh, and quite balanced, without a huge amount of acidity. The textures of the small prawns and squid were great, but the fish cubes were a little tough and made me wonder if there was some poaching ahead of the curing process. Guatita is a stew of tripe and potatoes in a peanut sauce. Texture of the tripe was just right -- that initial chewy resistance, just before it relents. Good soft potatoes and delicious peanut sauce, not rich and gooey like peanut butter, but more liquid and dispersed, but still nutty nevertheless. Will also be back to try more.
(Both places on Old Kent Road)
Limster, one of the current threads (feelinfoodie + progressive dining) got me thinking about South American options in London. One of the items I have most enjoyed during my travels in South America is saltena in Bolivia, basically their take on an empanada. So I googled and came across Parrillada del Sur as somewhere in London that makes fresh saltenas on the weekends. Trust you to have been there!! Have you tried them by any chance? Made it back to either of these places since your initial report? The ceviche at Costa Azul sounds worthwhile - do you remember if they use Peruvian chilli peppers in their ceviche? I regularly make ceviche at home and it's basic but I haven't been able to find that ingredient in London, not that I've searched particularly hard.
Unfortunately haven't tried the saltenas andd idn't notice Peruvian peppers in the ceviche at Costa Azul. I've yet to be back since...just too many places to try. :)
It's a total guess as I haven't had them, but the flavours in the pickled onions make me hopeful that the ceviche at El Aguajal in Dalsont could be good.