Freelance writer and full-time publicist living in Sydney.
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Published March 19th 2012
My knowledge of Peru is limited to the following: the rich and vibrant history of the Incas, the Peruvians' love for football and the controversial ousting of ex-President Alberto Fujimori (who is by the way Peruvian of Japanese descent.) So when I read about a Peruvian restaurant called Misky Cravings at Fairfield Heights, my insatiably curious tastebuds just couldn't say no.
On a rather damp Saturday afternoon, I head out to Misky Cravings with my foodie in crime Joshua Black. We are proud inhabitants of Sydney's southwest suburbs and yet it cost us a couple of kilometres to find this Peruvian gem. Tucked inside a dimmed shopping arcade on the edge of Fairfield Heights, Misky Cravings is a simple, no-fuss looking restaurant that has won over the appetites of the Peruvian community since it opened over nine months ago. Joshua and I came in for lunch and by looking at the restaurant at first glance, we were the only non-Peruvians dining with them that afternoon. To Joshua, this observation said it all – if the Peruvians are dining here then they must be doing something right.
When it comes to Peruvian food, ceviche is highly recommended. To start, we opted for the Ceviche Mixto ($18,) a seafood combination of marinated boneless fish, squid and prawns. The simple flavours of lemon juice, garlic, chilli and herbs together create that punchy, fresh and lively taste. Served with corn, red onions, lettuce and sweet potato, it was a dish I will definitely come back for.
Misky Cravings' signature dish, the Lomo Saltado ($15), is Peruvian food at its best. It's essentially a stir fry of tenderized steak strips, chips and onion mixed together, served with rice and tomato wedges. Joshua and I both found the chips an unusual accompaniment but worked surprisingly well. The dish had a beautiful smoky flavour that you'd usually associate with Chinese stir fries, if done right. The star of the show, hands down!
For our second main, Joshua chose the Seco Con Frijole ($15), a traditional beef stew dish from north Peru. What drew us to the dish was the coriander based sauce, and it surely did not disappoint. Staple to Peruvian cooking, the stew is served with rice, beans and cassava – carbohydrates overload anyone?
An acquired taste, don't go pass Peru's national drink – the Inca Kola ($3.50) or in English, the 'Golden Cola.' Similar to Mountain Dew, in my opinion at least, Inca Kola has an unusual sweet fruity flavour that will go down as a refreshing, fizzy treat.
Unfortunately, Joshua and I didn't have room for dessert but from looking at their extensive menu, I'd go for the Lucuma ice cream ($6,) described in writing as an exotic fruit ice cream from the Amazons. Now, how intriguing is that?
Misky Cravings is a taste of Peru right at our doorstep and is definitely worth a visit! But be warned: food coma is imminent.