I recently had the pleasure of visiting Kuélap, a Peruvian restaurant that brings the flavors of Peru to Medellin.
When you hear “Peruvian cuisine,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is ceviche. Well, let me tell you that Kuélap has so many options that the last thing you will remember is ceviche. They have over 45 options, plus the chef specialties that change every two weeks, which means that every time you visit the place you can order something completely different. It won’t be easy to pick though, since everything sounds (and looks) delicious.
In my case, I had shrimp ceviche, lomo saltado and spaghetti a la huancaína with shrimp. Now, I must clarify that I only tasted the ceviche and the lomo saltado; I’m a foodie but my stomach has a limit, so I had the entire spaghetti (ok, almost). Turns out with all the tasting I couldn’t finish my meal–Kuélap is very generous with the portions! So, sadly, I didn’t have room for dessert, which was terrible for me because I was looking forward to the chocolate volcano.
Ok, let me tell you more about the food, starting with the ceviche. The shrimp were perfectly marinated, having a great balance of saltiness and lemon covered with purple onions, a special type of corn grain brought directly from Peru that gave a crispy touch to the experience, along with the soft yucca, 28,900 COP ($10.59). Then I had a bit of lomo saltado, 31,900 COP ($11.69), which had a smoked flavor with a delicate sweet essence that impregnated the onions and fried potatoes. The rice, perfectly cooked, was the companion.
And now it’s time to talk about the spaghetti! It was so good that I literally rolled my eyes. I love papas a la huancaína because of that delicious sauce, so when I heard that two of my favorite things (pasta and shrimp) were mixed with this heavenly sauce, I knew that was exactly what I was going to eat. I mean it’s like The Avengers on a dish! The shrimp, once again, were perfectly cooked, and the sauce was softly creamy and had a bit of spice to give it that extra score to the mix of flavor and textures; 31,900 COP ($11.69). Oh, and I had a great mango juice for 6,900 COP ($2.52)
Kuélap also offers four ceviche options from 26,900 COP ($9.60) to 29,900 COP ($10.67); twelve different appetizers starting at 17,900 COP ($6.39); four types of soup, three kinds of salads and twelve rice dishes from arrisotado to the traditional chaufa, a fusion between Chinese and Peruvian cuisine with an interesting story behind it.
When it comes to rice dishes, you can either have a half or full portion (for 5,000 COP [$1.77] extra). You can also order fish, pasta, the house specialties, kid’s menu and desserts, of course. I missed the chocolate volcano dessert, but there’s also the arequipe or dulce de leche volcano (arequipe is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a creamy substance with an appearance and flavor similar to caramel), and the Peruvian suspiro limeño.
A variety of drinks is also available, such as wine from 12,900 COP ($4.58) to 89,900 COP ($31.95) for the 750 ml bottle, beer for 6,900 COP ($2.45), cocktails, soft drinks, and natural juices with water or milk and hot beverages.
Convenience and Friendly Service
At Kuélap they really care about giving people a great experience. They want you to feel at home, to experience Peru once again if you’ve already been there or to have a taste of it if you haven’t visited yet. The place is nice, has cool music, and the staff are very attentive and friendly. Plus there’s free parking right next to the restaurant. And if you don’t feel like going out, you can always order their food for delivery on Rappi or Uber Eats.
The two owners and the chef are from Peru, so it’s guaranteed you’ll have an authentic taste of Peruvian food. They also participate in culinary events around the city. Right now they’re part of Medellin Gourmet, an event that last year granted them the best seller award. You can visit any time until April 30, 2018 and enjoy the special menu they created for the event. For 59,000 COP ($21.63) you get two glasses of the house wine, an appetizer, two dishes and a dessert, having three options each to choose from.
A cool thing about the Kuélap menu is that they have one in Spanish and one in English, so you won’t need a dictionary, an app or a friend to translate the dishes for you in case you don’t feel like practicing your Spanish.
Hours and Location
Kuélap opens its doors from 12:00pm – 10:00pm Monday through Saturday. For the month of April only, they’re opening on Sundays from 12:00pm – 5:00pm because of the aforementioned Medellin Gourmet event. So you can stop by Calle 3 Sur 43A – 40, Medellín, to enjoy the food and the history behind it, especially if you find Jorge Picon (one of the owners), who’s always happy to talk about interesting facts and the history of his Peruvian cuisine.
All photos courtesy of Kuélap.
This post was written in collaboration with Kuélap.
Ann is a journalist and freelance writer from Caracas, Venezuela who recently started the adventure of traveling the world on her own. She’s a geek who adores music, books, drawing and movies. She can be found on Instagram here.