713. Peru Trip | Dinner at Kjolle, Lima

Kjolle Lima
With Lima being the food capital of Peru, we wanted to take the opportunity to try a nice restaurant for dinner that night. With a bit of research, we discovered the top restaurant there is Central, which is currently ranked 6th in the world! Unsurprisingly, they booked up months in advance. So we went to the next best place - their sister restaurant, Kjolle. They are located within the same building. The owners/co-chefs are a husband and wife team named Virgilio Martínez and Pia León who also live on the property they work. The wife, Pia, opened Kjolle last year. She is hailed as Latin America's best female chef.

Kjolle (pronounced "koy-ay") is named after a tree that grows at extreme altitudes. The tree produces a yellow flower that is fermented to make spirits and sauces. A lot of ingredients in Peruvian cuisine are only found at high altitudes which is what makes them so unique.

The menu at Kjolle features fresh ingredients found all over Peru, many ingredients being indigenous to the country's diverse landscapes and even some from the Amazonian jungles.

The food was incredible and very flavourful. Everything was beautifully plated. The atmosphere in the restaurant was tranquil and elegant, with very minimalist style decor. The staff was excellent. They were very knowledgeable in all the dishes, and knew just the right time to come and retrieve an empty plate or refill our glasses without infringing on privacy.

I loved the whole experience a lot and highly recommend it.

Kjolle drink Lima
Each table was offered this drink before starting. I completely forgot what it was but I really loved it.

Kjolle bread Lima
The bread was delicious! We asked for a second loaf after devouring this one. It was freshly made (we saw them being baked outside in their garden when we entered) from the stone oven/pit straight to our table. It was really soft and light inside.

Kjolle Lima
We ordered several dishes to share. I believe this was the "sea bass and razor clams" and at the top is "squash and crustacean".

Kjolle Restaurant Lima
The bottom dish is yucca. I have to admit I don't remember at all what the top two were.

Kjolle Lima
I believe this was pork belly.

Kjolle Dessert Lima
This dessert was so good!! It was a mixture of cacao, coconut chunks and honey.

Kjolle Lima
Kjolle Lima
Kjolle Lima
On the first floor they have some ingredients on display.

Kjolle Lima
This is the entrance to the restaurants.



712. Peru Trip | One Day in Lima

Leftbanked Despacito Lima
Our Peru trip started off in Lima, its capital city. It was the most convenient city to fly into from Toronto. If we weren't flying in and out from there, we probably would have left Lima off the list. There isn't a whole lot to see and do there, and one day was definitely enough to explore the city. My favourite thing about Lima is the food there. Before coming on the trip, I was told/heard multiple times that Peruvian food is really good..and Lima is like the "food capital" of Peru. Unfortunately we don't have many Peruvian restaurants here in Toronto but the ones that I've tried, I really loved.

Now after having visited several different parts of the country, I can safely say the food in Lima is the best. I loved everything we had in Lima, even the hotel breakfast was the best out of all subsequent hotels.

One of the highlights of our time in Lima was dinner at Kjolle, one of the best restaurants in the city. I will make another post of it next time. Besides that, we just walked around Plaza de Armas (the main square) and Larcomar (area beside the coast).

Plaza de Armas Lima
Lima Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas Lima
Lima food
Our first meal in Lima was here. I don't remember the name of the place now but the pasta was soooooo good. It tasted so fresh and flavourful. To be honest I was quite surprised how good it was as it wasn't a fancy place or known restaurant in particular. We just went into the first decent place we found on the street. After that I realized that what I heard about the food in Lima was indeed true.

Classic Red Beetle Car
There are a lot of these red cars there.

Kennedy Park Miraflores
We stayed at a hotel in Miraflores that was close to Kennedy Park. It was FULL of stray cats. There are 6 in this photo.

Lima Peru
Larcomar Lima
Larcomar Lima Coastline
This is Larcomar, a shopping area beside the coast. We just came for photos but didn't have time to walk around the stores.



711. Peru Trip | Amazon Rainforest Trek

Amazon jungle
We've been back for a few weeks now and I still go through moments of really missing being in the Amazon and on vacation in general. I enjoy making these posts though to relive it in a way. This is the final post of the Amazon (for now). After this I will go back and finish the rest of the posts from the other cities.

On our second last day, we went on a long walk through a rainforest in a new area. I really loved it. It was exactly how I pictured an Amazon rainforest to be like. Thick with vegetation and a LOT (!!!) of insects. That part I didn't like.

Can you spot our guide in the photo above?

Amazon Jungle
We arrived on the banks of the actual Amazon river, and pulled up to this tiny village. During wet season, the water level goes up several meters and the bridge is absolutely necessary. It was pretty rickety.

house in the Amazon jungle
The chief of the village lives in this house. To the left corner you can see a very small white cat.

small white cat
It was so tiny and dirty :(

Amazon Jungle house
Amazon livestock
Amazon Jungle
The cat is also in this photo in case you miss it.

despacito Amazon
Ready to enter the rainforest!

Amazon Jungle Walk
This one felt more "wild" than any of the others we've explored.

Amazon Jungle Trek
Amazon rainforest walk
Amazon rainforest walk
house in the Amazon jungle
About an hour into the walk we reached this house. The owners were not there (according to our guide they were probably out hunting for animals such as armadillos, anteaters, monkeys, birds etc). They are a very young family. The father is only 22 years old while the mother is 16. They have a 2 year old child. They happily live here in isolation. On the bottom is the kitchen and the top level is where they sleep (I didn't even notice the '2nd floor' at first). The oven for cooking is on the left. They had a pack of very skinny and underfed dogs, a lot of chickens, roosters and ducks..and a bunch of trees containing different fruits surrounding the property. Whenever I travel I love observing how the local people live. It's so interesting to me, especially people who actually live in the Amazon and are completely self-sustainable. Quite a difference to life in the city.

house in the Amazon
banana trees Amazon
Banana tree

Blue Morpho butterfly
Blue Morpho butterfly
This is a Blue Morpho butterfly. I was trying unsuccessfully to take a good shot of its open wings when I turned around and saw our guide had caught one for us lol

house in the Amazon jungle
Nearing the end of our walk..we came across another home.

exotic fruits from The Amazon
Exotic fruits. Our guide cut one for us to try.

fruit from the Amazon
It didn't taste like much. Maybe a slight lychee taste.

interesting clouds
kids from the Amazon
The kids were really curious about us and followed us around near the end. I think they are not used to getting visitors.

Amazon fish nets
This man is completely blind in both eyes and spends his days making and fixing fish nets by feel/touch.

Amazon man
Canalito rum The Amazon
We visited a rum factory and had lunch there.

Peruvian lunch
There were a couple cats on the property. I shared most of my lunch with them.

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