Sunday brunch in Lima – Social at Hilton Miraflores
It’s not easy to find a good Sunday brunch in Lima. Usually the preserve of major hotels, most of them in the Peruvian capital seem to be on offer during breakfast hours – finishing at around noon.
We wanted to start late in the morning and go through into the afternoon, snacking and sipping. Finding a brunch with some continuous pour booze was our mission. We settled on Social at the Hilton Miraflores.
Miraflores is an upmarket area abutting the Pacific coastline. The Hilton is a few blocks back from the water and while some floors have views of the ocean, the restaurant is at ground level.
Still, brunch starts at noon and goes through until three. There is a menu of dishes which you can nominally ‘0rder’ as many as you like. With few exceptions though, they’re all prepared in advance and available from one of the stations dotted around the entrance to the dining room.
The all-inclusive price also includes a pisco sour or chilcano per person, plus unlimited cocktail of the day, usually a rum-based punch.
And so we settled in on a warm spring Sunday, happily taking a shaded spot in a small patio outside. Gluttonous husband, being the absolute gentleman that he is, said Greedy Girl could have both pisco sours (her new favourite cocktail) and he would sip the rum punch throughout.
Certainly on this South American tour, there have been few better sights – if you don’t count Easter Island, the waterfalls at Iguazu and Machu Picchu. Well, few better sights that come in a glass …
One thing we’ve learned about travelling here is that timings in generally are mere suggestions. It’s not quite ‘manana’ but the stations are by no means ready to go when the brunch commences. Still, when you’re warm and comfy and drinking pisco, it hardly matters …
The wait staff here are excellent. The very friendly Omar brought us dishes to try throughout the day. One in particular is the scallops (pictured at the top of this post).
The menu describes these as ‘parmesan shells’ with a chilli chutney. The scallops underneath are delicious and they don’t need the cheese or other accompaniments at all.
And so, for three hours, we sipped and snacked. Gluttonous husband started with a huge dish of ceviche.
This was a combination of halibut, prawn, scallop, squid and calamari, with a bit of sweet potato, corn and red onion thrown in. It was tangy, spicy and delicious.
Our friendly chef seemed delighted that two gringos were enjoying the local cuisine …
Omar brought us another dish – crispy fried seafood with tartare sauce. Delicious and, for a quite substantial batter, reasonably light.
It was time for some more local flavour – this is causa, a potato dough, topped with grilled octopus. It was interesting, if a little stodgy.
Gluttonous husband spied the grilled tuna with vegetables and avocado ‘sauce’; not sure if slices of avocado qualify as sauce but it was a nice dish. The tuna had been seared well.
Greedy Girl was intrigued by sauteed Andean mushrooms with poached free range eggs.
Given these had been in a bain marie since the start of service, Greedy Girl was certain the egg would be cooked through – but she was wrong. The yolks still had a bit of ooze when sliced open. Not sure the Andean mushrooms had any special flavour, but it was a good combo.
We were also presented with a plate of roast meats from the grill station.
Like corn, potato is fairly ubiquitous here, especially sweet potato. There were grilled slices of spuds presented with some good roast pork, chorizo sausage and beef heart – all with that uniquely satisfying grilled flavour.
Greedy Girl also opted to try the bife de lomo (tenderloin). The meat was soft, without being stewed. A nice dish.
Generally we don’t go for pasta or other major carbs like bread or rice at a brunch, but we decided to give the pasta station a go. Greedy Girl took a very green pesto with gnocchi.
Gluttonous husband decided to have the seafood pasta with garlic. Italians look away now. He was asked if he’d like cheese on it and, without a thought, said ‘Si’.
There was one other dish on the menu prepared to order – ‘patasca’ soup with Peruvian corn and ‘beef legs’. And here it is.
The broth is traditionally made from veal head. It’s said to be chock-full of vegetables but this seemed to be heavily laden with tripe.
There aren’t many dishes around the world that defeat gluttonous husband but this was one. He tried a few small spoonfuls but pushed it away.
And we were almost done. Greedy Girl, of course, couldn’t resist the siren call of the dessert table. She chose mainly chocolate (of course) including a very good mousse with a biscuit base, but also went for the alfajores – a shortcrust biscuit sandwich with the Peruvian take on dulce de leche – a caramel filling.
And of course, she couldn’t resist a rather big bowl of Oreos …
Gluttonous husband decided to treat himself to one of his favourites – a crepe with excellent local strawberries and a very creamy ice-cream.
Over and out. We drained the last of the rum punch, tried the local ‘chicha morada’ a slightly bitter local digestive and prepared to hit the road.
The cost for all of this was 85 Soles per person – about A$35 – including tax and service. An absolute bargain for any visitor.
Sunday brunch in Lima is a wonderful opportunity to while away a few hours snacking and sipping. Social at the Hilton Miraflores is definitely the way to go.
Hilton Lima Miraflores
Av. La Paz 1099, Miraflores, Lima, Peru