Silvestre Gusto Latino is a Peruvian restaurant located on Water Street in Gastown. They sell Peruvian entrees, sandwiches (both Peruvian and North American style), coffee, and gelato. I was approached to come and try out some of their menu items and I was very excited because I’ve never had Peruvian food before and I know nothing about it.
I was given a pretty purple drink called a chicha morada. It is made with purple corn and pineapple juice. The drink had a mild sweetness to it. There are also hints of cinnamon in the drink, as they put a few spices in it as well. This drink was unlike any other drink I’ve had before and I enjoyed it.
Pollo a la brasa is a roasted chicken dish that is commonly eaten in Peru. It is usually served alongside fries and a salad.
The chicken was marinated in Peruvian spices and it had a wonderful flavour to it. The chicken was incredibly juicy and delicious. The fries and salad were basic, so the chicken was really the star of the plate.
The chicken also comes with three sauces. The red one is made with red peppers, the one in the front is made with yellow peppers, and the back one is the yellow pepper sauce mixed with a bit of mayo. I liked having the variety of three different sauces and they were all good. My favourite was the yellow pepper sauce. The red one was a bit spicy, but it is not too much to handle.
After I finished the chicken dish they brought out some smaller taster size dishes so I could try a few more items. Chicharron con camote is a pork belly dish that is slow cooked and then deep-fried. The pork belly had a good balance of fatty pieces and more firm meaty pieces. It was served with sweet potato fries and an onion salsa. They also have a sandwich that incorporates these three things, which sounds really good.
Papa a la huancaina potato is a boiled potato dish that is smothered in a creamy, cheesy, pepper sauce. For being a vegetable dish, this was surprisingly rich, and satisfying.
Chicha de jora is a type of beer made with fermented dry corn. This drink was sweeter and lighter than any other beer I’ve had before. I wish all beer tasted this good.
Aji de gallina was one of my favourite dishes of the day. It is made with shredded chicken in a yellow hot pepper, walnut, and parmesan sauce. It is served over boiled potatoes and with a side of rice. The flavour of the sauce was great and the full size version of this would be a hearty meal.
Ceviche is a famous Peruvian dish that is made with raw fish that is marinated and cooked in citrus juices. This was made with a white fish and was mixed up with red onion, sweet potato, and bits of pepper and corn. The pieces of fish were juicy and way more moist than if you would have cooked it with heat. There were strong punches of citrus acidity and mixed up with all the other items, it was a very tasty dish.
Seco de res con frejoles is a dish that is made with beef covered in a green cilantro sauce and peas. It is served with a side of beans and rice. The sauce the beef was in was amazing. I loved the bold, fresh, cilantro flavour and I could practically drink it.
Alfajor are little cookies that have a nutty flavour and dense consistency. The texture is similar to shortbread cookies. They were filled with dulce de leche and topped with powdered sugar. These were a tasty bite size dessert and I especially liked the creamy dulce de leche filling.
Silvestre’s also serves gelato, which I thought was strange at first, but I was impressed when I found out they have some Peruvian inspired flavours. One of their specialities is the lucuma gelato, which is a Peruvian fruit. This had a unique taste that was like a mixture of earthy pumpkin and caramel flavours. I’d recommend trying it if you are looking for something different and tasty.
I was impressed by all of the food I had at Silvestre’s, there is not a dish I didn’t like. The restaurant manager was super nice and he explained all of the Peruvian dishes to me. It was a fun experience to be able to try tons of new things and to learn that there is a great little Peruvian restaurant in Vancouver.
Disclosure: I did not pay for my meal.
Yes, for tasty Peruvian food.