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El Aguajal, Dalston, London


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Restaurants & Bars 4

El Aguajal, Dalston, London

limster | Aug 18, 2009 02:50 PM

A Peruvian place that has been on my to-do list for a year or so. In the meantime, they shifted from Balls Pond Road to Kingsland Road.

Earth spicing on the meaty, anticuchos, grilled beef hearts with a hint of livery flavour. Very savoury, going down well with the side of papa a la huancaina, boiled potatoes (Peru is after all, the home of the potato) coated with a yellow cream sauce made with aji amarillo, one of the many peppers of Peruvian cooking. The sauce was fair good, but could have more more tangy and smoky, perhaps a deeper dose of the chilli peppers to spice it up.

Juanes de gallina, a slightly stringy but still modestly moist piece of chicken breast wrapped in rice flavoured with another Peruvian pepper and tumeric and mixed with eggs, cooked in what looked like banana leaves. A complex tangy flavour to the rice, pairing well with the chicken, and even better with generous spoonfuls of a peruvian chilli sauce. The side of marinated onions is sharp, acidic, and lightly sweet, an intense but balanced flavour that suggests that their ceviche (which likely use a similar marinade) is going to be worth trying. Finally a nice medium sweet plantain on the side.

Pretty good chica morada, a purple corn drink.

At 25% discount from Mon to Thurs, not a bad deal.

They say on weekends they'll have pollo a la brasa (Peruvian rotisserie chicken), and desserts like alfajores (shortbread sandwiching dulce de leche). Was interesting to sample the juanes, which they label under Peruvian Amazon food, it was new to me. Will have to try one of their tacacho dishes (mashed green plantains). But I'll also be back for the usual Peruvian stuff like lomo saltado. Food I had was tasty and definitely worth investigating further, might end up being better than Tito's, which is the other Peruvian place that I've been to in London.

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