Campo Base: Why you need to try their Lomo Saltado

 
I was told that the secret to a great Lomo Saltado is the quality of your ingredients.

I was told that the secret to a great Lomo Saltado is the quality of your ingredients.

 
 
What makes a great Lomo Saltado? First, I season beef sirloin pieces with salt and pepper. Then I make sure the wok is really hot and toss them in with tomatoes, onions, aji de amarillo, soy sauce and vinegar. The “lomo” should only be cooked to medium rare - that’s how it stays tender and juicy.
— Virglio - Chef at Campo Base Restaurante
 
Campo Base is situated in the tourist square of Parque Ginebra in Huaraz. It’s a convenient location since it’s right across from my work. I’ve often found the service quick and friendly. I also like sitting outside as long as the sun’s out.

Campo Base is situated in the tourist square of Parque Ginebra in Huaraz. It’s a convenient location since it’s right across from my work. I’ve often found the service quick and friendly. I also like sitting outside as long as the sun’s out.

Eating by “menu” (pronounce me-noo) is the best way to stretch your buck in Peru, and prices often range from 5 soles to 15 soles (even a 10 soles menu is massive). What’s a “menu”? It’s the blackboard menu of the day, with a starter, main course (fondo or segundo) and even a postre (dessert). You also get the juice of the day, which can be refilled at no extra cost.

Today’s starter were tequeños, a popular Peruvian snack. It’s deep fried pastry with a cheese filling (sometimes with ham) and served with the house salsa. They’re nice and light, and I usually have them as a light afternoon snack.

What’s in a Lomo Saltado? It’s juicy beef sirloin pieces seasoned with salt and pepper, then tossed in a hot wok with tomatoes, onions, julienned aji de amarillo (yellow peppers) with soy sauce and white vinegar. It’s a tasty combination of salty and tangy, and the pieces of beef are cooked to medium rare. A plate of lomo isn’t usually complete without hot chips and rice. At 15 soles, this menu isn’t the cheapest around, but if you want an amazing plate of Lomo Saltado, then I recommend spending the extra
5 soles.

Dessert was a glass of Arroz Zambito, which is a traditional Peruvian dessert made with rice, milk, cinnamon, cloves and chancaca (it’s basically like Panela). It was surprisingly light and not overly sweet.

RonnaEats: I give this lunch 5 spoons for taste and 4.5 spoon for value for money. It’s not the cheapest, but if you want an incredible plate of Lomo Saltado, then I say head over to Campo Base!

 
 
Lomo Saltado is served with papas fritas (hot chips) and rice.

Lomo Saltado is served with papas fritas (hot chips) and rice.

 
 
 

Campo Base Restaurante is located in Parque Ginebra
(Jirón Jose de Sucre) in Huaraz, Ancash Region, Peru.


 

Who is RonnaEats? Ronna Grace Funtelar runs this independent foodie blog, with a philosophy to eat and write about food she can rave about. She won't ask for free meals or collaborate with reviewed eateries, so you can be assured the reviews are unbiased and all for the love of food. Whether it's a food truck, a hole in the wall eatery, street food, local hangout or fine dining, she wants to know where to head to for her next food adventure.



Pizza with the Candioti Family at Puente Pariac

Pizza with the Candioti Family at Puente Pariac

Before I left for Peru, I often joked that I hoped a family would adopt me so I could learn about the food and culture from a local’s perspective. Pizza may not be traditionally Peruvian, but the hospitality of the Candioti family was second to none.

Marbel and I work together at the same language institute, and the more I got to know her, the more I realised how much we had in common. She and I are both in our thirties, and she had studied at Cambridge University. We also share a mutual love for music, dance and food - I feel like she and I could become really good friends. We’ve even talked about meeting up in Bali, giving ourselves a year to get our “bikini” bodies ready. Marbel also knows all about Kiwi sarcasm.



El Bosque at El Pinar: Delicious food with breathtaking mountain views

El Bosque at El Pinar: Delicious food with breathtaking mountain views

Jorge and I had already shared a turkey burger that morning, and the trip out to El Bosque was more about the promise of the stunning mountain views than going on a foodie adventure. He had been to El Bosque at El Pinar several times before (usually on his bike), and even with the threat of oncoming rain clouds, I was excited to be closer to the mountains again.

Trying to get anywhere in central Huaraz around 1pm requires exceptional patience. It’s the time when primary-aged students finish school and the scene is what I would describe as organised chaos. The scene fascinated me because even though Huaraz is a small city (and this I assume is a daily occurrence for most kids and their families), the pavements simply weren’t built to cope with the extra foot traffic. People spill onto the narrow roads, with car and moto-taxi horns adding to the street symphony of vendors selling fried chicken and ceviche.



Peru | Pachamanca In Huaraz

Peru | Pachamanca In Huaraz

It was Sunday lunchtime, and it had begun to drizzle as my landlady, Liliana and I walked to Jirón José Olaya. This small street transforms every Sunday to serve traditional Peruvian food - with gazebos sheltering the trestle tables and chairs on the road. You can also dine in the many restaurants serving the same dishes. It was the only street that remained standing during the 40s and 60s, and here you can take a glimpse of the old Huaraz, where the traditional green and white colour scheme of the houses remain.



Peru | Eduardo El Brujo in Zorritos, Tumbes

Peru | Eduardo El Brujo in Zorritos, Tumbes

Eduardo El Brujo is in the outskirts of Zorritos – and the two soles it costs to go by moto is definitely worth the trip. In comparison to other local restaurants, it is on the higher end, however the portions are large and the presentation is more of what you will find in busy tourist areas. The white sands beachfront is simply breathtaking.



Peru | Pizzeria Trattoria El Italiano Máncora

Peru | Pizzeria Trattoria El Italiano Máncora

Italian food wasn’t my first choice in Máncora, in fact I was on the hunt for a steakhouse my course tutors had told me about. I found out the next day that not only was it less than ten minutes from my hostel, I would have walked it past it several times in my quest to find it! How did I end up in this back alley pizzeria? It was actually a fancy back alley, more just around the corner in what was a mostly pavement barrio.

I had taken a moto to try and find the steakhouse and the driver went the opposite way. If you’re visiting Máncora, have a general idea where a restaurant is as even the locals sometimes get lost!



RonnaEats | Ceviche and Chicharron de Pescado

RonnaEats | Ceviche and Chicharron de Pescado

When in Peru, I have to eat ceviche! The traditional home of this famous dish, and living by the beach for a month, I was excited for all the fresh fish and seafood I get to have in Zorritos. I made sure to learn how to tell servers that I was allergic to crustaceans, though I broke it down to shrimps and crabs, “Soy alérgico a los camarones y cangrejos.”

Ceviche is fresh, raw fish marinated with lime or lemon juice, salsa criolla (pickled red onion), tomatoes, aji (peppers) and various herbs including cilantro (coriander). It’s light, refreshing and so easy to prepare at home. The Pacific Island version, which adds coconut cream follows a similar recipe.



RonnaEats | Melbourne Eats

I love my food, and if you’re like me, you will love Melbourne and all that it has to offer. Pressed for time, this short visit didn’t really allow me to tick off many places from a long list friends gave to me. Still, I did feast and here’s just a few that restaurants I recommend should you find yourself in the city with some coin to spare. Also my friend, Arniella, is part of a foodie group in Melbourne. If you want to meet cool people while expanding your gastronomical vocabulary, send me a message and I will pass on her details.


Cafe Greco

Find them here: Watergardens Town Centre, R07/399 Melton Hwy, Taylors Lakes
Bookings:  +61 3 8358 2109

GREEK

I’ve been told that Cafe Greco have several restaurants in Melbourne, and I’m not surprised. The food is fantastic and service was quick. I’m not that schooled on Greek cuisine, so it was great to be able to try something new.

We met up with Ian’s brother, Carlo, and his wife, Valentina, and their kids Blake and Jimmy. Dinner that evening were two platters - meat and seafood. I drooled over the size of the prawns and looked back on the days before I was allergic to crustaceans. The platters were on the table in less than 20 minutes, which was awesome because I was so hungry.

I loved the calamari from the seafood platter, and the lamb from the meat platter is a must. Charcoal always brings out this incredible flavour in lamb, and dipped in tzatziki...divine! I wish we ordered extra pita bread, just to have a break from all the meat. Although I don’t think I could anymore in after our meal.

We hung around the playground so Blake could play - Ian ended up getting me a hot chocolate and churros from La Chocolateria for dessert. Great food and awesome company, I slept good that night.

RonnaEats: 4.5 Spoons  |  Atmosphere: 4.5 Stars


F.A.T. Fried and Tasty

Find me here: 360 Lygon St, Brunswick East  |  Bookings: +61 3 8560 3328

SOUL FOOD

You will probably never find southern-fried chicken and waffles on a Weight Watcher’s menu, still, if you don’t care about the calories, it really is the bomb. Lygon Street in Melbourne is the street for whatever it is that you’re craving. FAT Fried and Tasty is located in the more industrial end of Lygon Street, where you find cafes and hair salons amongst mechanics and tyre fitters.

We actually sought out fried chicken (the southern variety specifically) and waffles after a post on Instagram - we figured we were heading into the city anyway and hadn’t had breakfast yet. I thought that by the time we got into the city, we would be ready for lunch.

For you sceptics who doubt this delicious combination - haters gonna hate but it’s ya’ll missing out.

The waffles were served with two pieces of southern-fried chicken, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. I could have done without the ice cream, but hey, I wanted the full soul-food experience. Next time I will try their spicy version, and maybe less the waffles.

We went early so probably beat the lunchtime rush. Also you should check out their funky bathroom - funky being the artwork, not the smell.

RonnaEats: 4.5 spoons  |  Atmosphere: 4.5 Stars


La Camera

Find them here: Southgate, MR2/3 Southgate Ave, Southbank  |  Bookings:  +61 3 9699 3600

ITALIAN

Melbourne is one of the, if not, the most multicultural city in Australia - which is great for us foodies because migrants brought over fantastic cuisine that caters to every palette. La Camera means ‘the room’ in Italian - it was a pretty popular room looking at how packed it was on a Friday night. Luckily my friend, Selena, managed to get us a table, better yet, we had a view of the Yarra River and city lights.

La Camera is on the first floor of the Southgate Building in Southbank. We booked a room in the city, and probably would have only been a 15-20 minute walk from our hotel. Running late, we took a taxi and experienced the hustle and bustle of Friday night traffic. Although there’s a more social different vibe, perhaps it’s because most people are out for the night, it never feels as stressful as peak hour traffic after work.

The restaurants and bars at street level must pay a premium - though with the amount of customers that night, I would say it was worth it. We met up with Selena after 6pm and we only had the table until 7.30pm, which meant quick menu decisions had to be made. We settled on a garlic and cheese pizza for our starter (by the way, the pizza starter is good for four), and I went with the spaghetti bolognese for my main. I found that over-indulgence from the last few days meant my stomach wanted comfort food over spice.

Selena often comes back to Whakatane - we catch up at least every couple of years. I have to admit, it’s taken me ten years to finally visit Melbourne, so it was good to not only catch up, but to see what gastronomical delights it had to offer.

After dinner, we walked along the Yarra, and headed towards Crown Casino. Not that we had any plans to gamble the night away, we just wanted to avoid food coma from all the carbs. Though once it settled, we walked back to Southgate to the Lindt Cafe. I had the hot chocolate - which was served with small jug of milk and melted chocolate. The consistency was perfect for sipping chocolate. By the end, I had the equivalent of three small hot chocolate drinks. Way too much indulgence for one night!

RonnaEats: 4 Spoons  |  Atmosphere: 4.5 Stars


Teatro

Find them here: Hamer Hall, Tenancy A Southbank Promenade, Southbank
Bookings: +61 3 9682 9042

PIZZERIA, BAR AND TAPAS

We had actually walked past Teatro the night we dined at La Camera (it’s just a short walk). I was catching up with Becca and Arniella, both originally from Whakatane, and we spotted the $15 Paella lunch special. Of course I couldn’t have it (traditional paella always has prawns), but most of the group was keen. We had to wait an hour for lunch, so found a food court and caught up on the goss over smoothies.

Becca was in my year in high school, and Arniella a year younger. Both had moved to Australia over ten years ago - so this visit was well overdue. Both come home regularly, but it was great to see them in their adopted city. Becca’s husband, Mark, couldn’t join us as he had already bought a ticket to spend the day eating, drinking and betting on horses.

I ordered a calamari tapas - which I highly recommend. It was succulent and the batter light. For my main I went for the margarita pizza, which a nice break from meat, yet still had that satisfying comfort that comes from carbs and cheese. It turns out Becca was also allergic to crustaceans, so she had the Moroccan Lamb pizza, while everyone else got the paella.

Eating a pizza twice the size of my face was no easy feat. I managed all but one slice, which was a good effort on my part.

We walked off lunch and made our way to South Wharf where we tried to do some shopping. Food coma took away my enthusiasm to shop and I walked out empty handed.

A day exploring in the city is not enough, next time, I’m sure to come prepared.

RonnaEats: 4 Spoons  |  Atmosphere: 4 Stars


Who is RonnaEats? Ronna Funtelar runs this independent foodie blog, with a philosophy to eat and write about food we can rave about. We don't ask for free meals or collaborate with our reviewed eateries, so you can be assured the reviews are unbiased and all for the love of food. Whether it's a food truck, a hole in the wall eatery, street food, local hangout or fine dining, we want to know where to head to for our next food adventure.



RonnaEats | Singapore Eats

Chinatown's Food Street is a must for the tourists - sit, drink, eat your way through the day. This is from a Sichuan restaurant - chicken satay, potato stir fry and spicy pork stew.

Chinatown's Food Street is a must for the tourists - sit, drink, eat your way through the day. This is from a Sichuan restaurant - chicken satay, potato stir fry and spicy pork stew.

If you're a foodie, Singapore is an incredible place to be. Singapore may be known as an expensive destination in Asia, but if you follow the locals and be adventurous, you'll be surprised how easy it is to eat delicious food and still have money left over for shopping.

We stayed at Orchard Grand Court, a hotel on Killinney Road, which is off Orchard Road. It was about 15 minutes walk from the Summer Jam Dance Camp at Scape, and a quick walk to Sommerset Station. Everything stayed opened quite late, even if we finished at 10.30pm, we still had plenty of dinner options. There must have been fifteen cafes, restaurants, and hole in the wall eateries on the way to our hotel. 

On the whole, food is quite affordable in Asia. Of course, imported and out of season produce is expensive, but in general, I could make my $10 turn into a delicious feast, in comparison to New Zealand. For breakfast, we just bought a box of cereal and milk, and that lasted most of our ten day stay. Otherwise I probably would have lived on rice or soup in the mornings. 

I've been told that if you want to eat good food on a budget, find a place packed with locals. We found great eateries off Orchard Road and served the usual rice, noodles, and buns. Most of the dishes were under $4. I had a drink, buns, pork, rice and soup for under $8.

Being multi-cultural, the malls are packed with Western-style food: pizzas, pastas, breads, plenty of coffee places, and a gazzillion Starbucks! The great thing is that most places have menus with prices, and even when they're super busy, service is pretty quick.

Hainanese chicken is steamed chicken and usually served with vegetables, rice and a broth. Ask any Singaporean and they always tell the tourists to try it. I just make it swim in chilli. Another is satay skewers, either chicken, pork or lamb. If you want a more filling snack, have it with the local rice, ketupat, which is quite sticky.

The Jew Kit on Killinney Road - our first meal in Singapore. This was the 'Lovely Meal', which was Hainanese chicken, rice, broth, and vegetables. I think my drink was black grass jelly with lychee, even in the heat, it was too sweet for me!

The Jew Kit on Killinney Road - our first meal in Singapore. This was the 'Lovely Meal', which was Hainanese chicken, rice, broth, and vegetables. I think my drink was black grass jelly with lychee, even in the heat, it was too sweet for me!

Belgian waffle from Ben & Jerry's on Orchard Road.

Belgian waffle from Ben & Jerry's on Orchard Road.

My last indulgence was a Belgian waffle with two scoops and whipped cream at Ben & Jerry's. I chose the choc-chip cookie dough and New York choc-fudge. They gave me a fork and knife to eat it with, which is ok for the first five minutes, until the mid-30s heat turns it into ice cream soup. 

The Singapore foodie experience really depends on your budget and how adventurous you are. If I went with a fellow foodie, I think this post would be far more exciting, but I didn't. Never mind, Singapore, you and I will meet again. And we shall eat more of your glorious delights!