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Talk about disappointed expectations when it comes to Peruvian food: Restaurant Püente (8. December 2020)

| December 16, 2020 | 2 Comments

When I read that there is a second Peruvian restaurant which is supposed to be serving great food in Zurich, I was excited! And to be fair, at first it looked all very promising. The place is small, spacious, has an open kitchen and the staff is super friendly. Once you’ve ordered your food, it starts with a very good looking first dish, the “Ceviche Clásico (white fish marinated in ‘leche de tigre’, served with mashed sweet potatoes and toasted corn)” (CHF 21.00) which did look amazing. Now, the problem wasn’t the looks, it was the taste. The fish was having a rather hefty fish taste which was at the brink of being unpleasant. And on top of that, the overall combination of flavors wasn’t really anything which would excite your taste buds.

Luckily, the “sesame, potato and another breads with olive butter” (CHF 7.00) was much tastier. However, CHF 7.00 for three slices of bread to share seems quite off in terms of pricing.

The “Empanadilla Tusan (pastry dough filled with creamy spicy Peruvian chicken sauce)” (CHF 19.00) was okay. There was nothing ‘too intense’ in terms of flavor. But it was also that – it was just a rather dull combination of flavors and tastes which were ultimately not really surprising or specifically tasty.

Although the timing was off and the first main course was served before the last starter (talking about organization!), the “Pulpo Anticuchero (grilled octopus with Nikkei seasoning and mashed cassava)” (CHF 29.00) was actually a dish which would finally make your taste buds dance and you’d start salivating after the first bite. The pulpo was perfectly soft, had a nice grill flavor and in combination with the ink sauce and the mashed cassava, it was just absolutely delicious! A pity though that the rest of the dishes didn’t taste as good.

Next in line was the “Tiradito de Salmón (cured salmon on beet root with fennel julienne and a yellow Peruvian citrus chili sauce)” (CHF 22.00) which was okay. The cured salmon was almost a bit too cured (i.e., a bit chewy already) but the combination of ingredients was actually good. So, not as good as the pulpo but definitely better than the other two starters.

The “Los Mofletes (beef cheeks in home-made curry and chutney)” (CHF 29.00) were again something I can recommend. Funnily enough, and contrary to most cases, the main dishes were the outstanding ones while the starters didn’t really match the expectations. The beef cheeks were super tender and the home-made curry in which they were served was actually delicious. However, I was wondering why exactly there is something like curry in a Peruvian restaurant (as curry, at least in my head, is much more Indian than Peruvian).

The “grilled carrot” which came with the beef cheeks was good by itself but – and very surprisingly to me – even better in combination with the beef cheeks and the curry (when you mix it all together).

We also decided to get the “daily fresh side à la chef” (CHF 12.00) which was “berenjenas” (eggplants) with an vinegar sauce. I think, by itself, it would have been too intensely sour but again, if you mixed it with the beef cheek curry and the carrot, it was actually amazing. Now, the part I don’t entirely get here was the fact that not everyone would chose the daily fresh side à la chef and not everyone would choose the beef cheeks curry. Admittedly, the combination of flavors was exquisite. But it was rather random that all these ingredients ended up on the table at the same time and I wonder how one can setup a flavor combination based on a ‘random assembly’ of such flavors.

In any case, the “Pai de Lucuma (Lucuma fruit with Italian Meringue)” (CHF 10.00) to end the dinner was good. Largely meringue and not much more but given I like that, it was a good ending.

Now, sadly, the cookie (friandise) which was served in the end, turned out to be the third best course after the main courses (pulpo and beef cheek). So, to sum it up from a food perspective – they offer some good dishes but the starters are a disappointment. And that’s the part where you could really excel easily (usually!)!

However, at least in the booze department, they offer quite some interesting pisco combinations. As a starter I went for the “Limeño (Pisco Acholado, Ají Amarillo, Cointreau, Limes, Kurkuma Syrup)” (CHF 16.00) which was refreshing but had this weird Mexican-like chili flavored powder on top of the glass (which is something I definitely don’t need).

The “Zarrapia (Pisco Acholado, Fernet Blanca, caramel, cardamom, tonka bean, ginger beer)” (CHF 18.00) was refreshing …

… and the “Guarapo (Pisco Acholado, passion fruit, vanilla, balsamico)” (CHF 18.00) was more aromatic …

… while the “Amazonico (Pisco Acholado, camu camu, Sprite, Campari, limes)” (CHF 18.00) turned out to be the sweet ending on the booze side.

So, all in all, to me, the Püente was a bit of a disappointment. I mean, maybe my expectations were too high but given that my limited experience of Peruvian cuisine always encompassed some kind of positive surprise and while the staff was friendly and caring, the food side was really not what I had expected! So, you might want to give it a try but don’t expect too much.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Püente

Baumgasse 10

8005 Zürich (CH)

Tel.: +41 44 869 00 00

Homepage: http://www.puente.ch

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
CHF 340.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Restaurants, Zürich (CH)

2 Comments on "Talk about disappointed expectations when it comes to Peruvian food: Restaurant Püente (8. December 2020)"

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  1. Aaron says:

    Considering that peruvian food is great and that i too am a peruvian, i would disapprove of these ratings and the disrespectful title you have given this overrated blog. Maybe it was just something of personal taste or the restaurant wasn’t good.

  2. Sven says:

    Thanks for your comment, highly appreciate it. Well, the title of the blog post was related to that particular experience in that particular restaurant.

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