Part of the Huariques de Callao series
A Peruvian “Huarique” in English might best be described as a “hidden nook where food is served”. In a country like Peru where people have little in the way of resources, small simple non-pretentious restaurants called huariques are the norm. The port city of Callao, where some of the region ‘s best seafood is landed, also has some of the best huariques. Many are very old and are locally very well known. In this series, we’ll visit the greats.
With thanks to Luis Arriola and Alejandro Garcia who wrote and translated the original article below.
“I have a friend called ‘Don Pésimo’ who always says: ‘This is as bad as a mango ceviche’. And one day, to play with him, I made him a ceviche with mango, which he liked, and since then for the past seven years, I prepare this dish, here at Manolo, in La Punta”.
This is how Manuel Herrera Monasí explains the origin of this singular speciality in his welcoming locale.
For the past 12 years, this restaurant has been open along Malecón Pardo in La Punta. During all these years, there has been no lack of sceptics who have come to eat at Manolo simply to challenge the chef, not believing the most traditional of Peruvian seafood dishes, ceviche, could be made with mango. They even place bets, with losers paying the bill. Don Manuel explains the dish is not ceviche with mango, but a mango ceviche, which has a, “unique sweet-and-sour flavour.”
The dish is prepared in the classic ceviche manner, but instead of being made with fish, it is made with slices of mango, and served alongside the requisite boiled corn, lettuce, onion, parsley, and ají limo .
There are only nine tables in the restaurant, and the don Manuel says he doesn’t want any more. “We don’t hire people to stand outside our restaurant and draw people in by yelling out our specialities. People come because they know me and how good my cuisine is. Whoever wants to come in, is welcome to do so,” he affirms.
Manolo is open daily from midday until 5 p.m. It is only closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday. Don Manuel has lived in La Punta for 55 years.
When customers ask don Manuel to recommend a speciality, he always responds he can’t because, “taste is so subjective. I just tell them that everything on the menu is completely authentic.”
Malecón Pardo, module 1-N
Note: Other specialities include a mushroom ceviche and asparagus vinaigrette.
With thanks to Luis Arriola and Alejandro Garcia