Last Tue eve I was invited to sample some “home-style” Peruvian cooking at Keenwä in the oh-so-cute Waterkant St – that road they closed off for the Soccer World Cup fan walk.
It’s a lovely little spot with some really fun decor, a cosy feel and super friendly staff.
The invite came from owner, German de la Melena, a true Peruvian with a sexy accent to boot (I’m a total sucker for accents – except the Afrikaans accent, that one doesn’t count. Sorry boys! haha) He took the time to take my friend Darryn and I through the menu and then kicked off the evening by letting us sample 3 of his top picks from the starters selection:
The Ceviche is basically cubes of fish marinated in lime juice with a sprinkle of chillies and served with sweet potatoes. I’ve only ever had Ceviche once before and that was about a week and a bit ago at El Burro. I definitely preferred this one though as it had way more kick to it. I like to feel the burn.
The Causa de Cangrejo is mashed potatoes with limes and chillies topped with a crab salad, avocado and a prawn. That baby was tasty as well. It kinda tasted like a spicy, cold potato bake, but with more flair.
The last one did make me a bit nervous to be honest, cause the “Anticuchos” part is a Peruvian delicacy. When I asked what type of meat it was, I got the following answer: “Don’t worry about that, you’ll love it.” Immediately I was like, oh gawd, please let this not be ballsack or something. Haha. Obviously I forced Darryn to try it first… when I saw that he looked pretty happy, I decided it was safe to give it a bash. To me it tasted like mini beef fillets and I did in fact love it, just like they said I would. Turns out though it was cow heart. That totally gives new meaning to the term “eat your heart out”… But you could see the chef put his “heart and soul” into that meal… And that cow had its “heart in the right place”… on my plate! OK OK, enough with the heart jokes. But seriously, don’t be put off by the idea of it, it really is something you should try.
For mains, Darryn and I shared the Carapulcra Con Sopa Seca (R100) – I know, that sounds like a mouth full, but it basically boils down to: Dried mince potato cooked on a very spicy peanut sauce, served with dry soup (spaghetti) and fried chicken:
This was a highlight for me. It was really so good, lots of different flavours & textures, all mixed together to create a unique and memorable taste experience. Smiles all round.
Then our friend Kim had recommended 2 desserts that we just had to try. The first was Alfajores (R30) which is shortbread biscuits sandwiched with Manjar Blanco which basically tastes like a super creamy caramel filling:
Both were heavenly! After we had polished them off, I wished I could have more. BUT I’m still trying to shake my “jolly Xmas holiday extra stuffing” and I have been super lazy with gym of late, so the guilt just got too much for me in the end.
I had a really great evening at Keenwä. The atmosphere was fantastic, the service was top notch and the food was a whole new taste experience. It was really nice to get the opportunity to try out something totally different for a change and I’m sure I will be visiting them again. For all those reasons I’m going to give them a Miss K Kiss-o-Meter rating of:
Thank you so much to German for the invite and also to Fabricio Durand, the executive chef for cooking up a storm for us.
** One last note – take a cruise upstairs to the unisex bathroom. It’s straight out of a scene from Alice in Wonderland. Loved it. **