New casual dining restaurant Pollo Pollo serves up two Dubai food trends – the current craze for all things Peruvian blended with our obsession for street food.
It’s apparently the emirate’s first Peruvian chicken restaurant and home to the South American nation’s famous pollo a la brasa (rotisserie-style chicken) in Umm Suqueim.
What’s on offer?
We’ve tried pretty much every combination of ceviche that Dubai’s established Peruvian restaurants have to offer, so we were eager to explore the more homespun side to the country’s cuisine, which is influenced by both the indigenous population and us pesky immigrants from Europe, Asia and West Africa.
As hosts of the restaurant, we were served a selection of dishes recommended by the head chef – who genuinely hails from the country of Machu Picchu.
What do we eat?
We started with a Peruvian take on tamal (AED 30). We can imagine munching on the steamed corn-dough wrapped chicken from a banana leaf while tackling the Inca trail.
Hearty, dense chunks of fried yuca (AED 25) – Peruvian tapioca – are the common stand in for fries at Peruvian fast-food outlets. Not for the carb-phobic, but utterly addictive.
Tender and marinated in spices known only to “them in there”, as our host affectionally nods towards the chefs, the chicken is juicy and best grabbed from your plate and dipped in a vivid yellow rocoto pepper sauce (AED 85 for half a chicken with two sauces), with comfort food side dishes of arroz verde (AED 20) – green rice cooked in broth, and Peruvian frijoles beans (AED 15).
Trendy super-food quinoa is native to Peru and is a common way for locals to start the day, mixed with fruit and served up warm or cold by street food vendors. Pollo Pollo goes for a savoury concoction of avocado, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms for a delicious hearty salad (AED 30).
Quinoa returned as a surprise ingredient in the final dish – a slice of a fluffy cream caramel made with quinoa flour (AED 15) and alfajores – smooth, crumbly cookies filled with thick dulce de leche (AED 7).
Even our drinks are straight from the street of Lima – chicha morada (AED 18) is a vivid purple potion of Peruvian corn, cinnamon and cloves.
What do we see?
Inca traditions inspired colourful murals on Pollo Pollo’s walls and traditional stripes and symbols on the chairs, watch staff at work in the open kitchen or simply enjoy the vibe of a bustling little restaurant, which means you might have to hunt for a parking spot.
Check out Pollo Pollo on Facebook