Peruvian Flavours Come to Doha
I first tasted tiger’s milk when I was working in Los Angeles and discovered Peruvian cuisine. Wait… they have tigers in Peru? Clearly not.
Leche de tigre is more specifically seafood drippings with a catchy name. The murky liquid is the runoff from ceviche, when raw seafood is “cooked” by the acidity of citrus (mostly lime). The addition of sliced onions and other seasonings creates a rather zingy soup, like a thin gazpacho with whiffs of the sea.
On this occasion, I am being treated to what feels like a cauldron of the glorious stuff, as I sample several versions of ceviches at Rocca, including a classic mixed seafood, shrimp with avocado, tuna with mango and passion fruit. Because of the different combinations, each little pool of leche de tigre possesses a certain character, one mild and sweet, another with a bit more Latin fire from rocoto hot pepper. And the best part is how each is served with choclo, Peruvian Cuzco corn with kernels the size of coins.
For just one week until December 5th, the Grand Hyatt Doha is hosting the brilliant Peruvian chef Bruno Andrews Santa Cruz. He’s designed a special menu of over a dozen dishes showcasing the cuisine of his home country.
It’s hard not to fall for the lightly spiced garlic shrimps or chicken anticuchos, Peru’s answer to chicken kebabs with an accompanying sauce that might send you scrambling for a giant gulp of refreshing Pisco sour.
Although there is a stunningly aromatic seafood paella and beef brisket sandwich I am already craving as I write this, it is the aji de gallina which captures my heart in this meal. Shredded chicken is tossed in a walnut cream and served over rice. I do not know how to make it sound more appealing, and the monochromatic photo doesn’t do it justice, but the dish stands out like the shimmering moon against a night of tiny faraway diamonds.
I cannot stress enough to leave room for dessert. There is a pumpkin and sweet potato donut cloaked in caramel and dusted with sugar. It’s got spice and everything nice, with a fritter-like crust and a moist centre that is the bribe every child deserves.
While for a more elegant end, consider the passion fruit tart; the silken curd hugged by a crumbly buttery crust didn’t last long on my plate, or anyone else’s on the table.
** This promotion runs until December 5 at the Grand Hyatt Doha. Each dish is ala carte, ranging from QR35 to QR50. Catch it before it’s gone. Reservations +974 4448 1234 **
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