Kusi, the Quechua word for happiness, is the name of the newest Peruvian restaurant in Laureles. Located at Transversal 39B # 72 – 71, on Avenida Nutibara near the University, it’s highly accessible and, I found, totally worth a visit.
Kusi: Happiness in Dining
The owner of the restaurant, originally from Lima, recently received his MBA here in Medellín at UPB. He opened the restaurant less than two months ago with the idea of creating a Peruvian cuisine experience that would make people genuinely happy about being there.
The interior design is elegant, but simple, reminiscent of Peru in details like fabric patterns on the wall, Inca Colas on the tables and a Kusi Shop of Peruvian knick-knacks.
The fact that you have to take a few steps down into the restaurant makes the place private and unique on the avenue because most restaurants in the area are either at street level or raised so you can people-watch. At Kusi, it’s all about focusing on the space you’re in and the people you’re with; you’re sheltered from the street, though the traffic is still audibly noticeable (I mean, it’s still Nutibara, right?).
I’ve never been to Peru myself, but I was able to try a few things off the menu that could definitely convince me to book a trip ASAP. I don’t tend to eat fish in cities that are so inland, but I opened my mind to the idea of it and ate so much I felt my stomach could burst. All in the spirit of research for my review, of course.
The menu is actually quite elaborate and aesthetic, with a respective page for varieties of ceviches and Causas, an authentic Peruvian dish that dates back to pre-colonization; one for entrees, with what’s mostly a variety of fried fish and potatoes; appetizers; soups and stews; rice dishes and Tacu Tacu; specialties; a page for miscellaneous, like a kid’s menu and desserts; and finally, drinks. Each page has prices ranging roughly from 15,000 COP to 40,000 COP (approximately $5.00 to $14.00).
During our visit, we got fried shellfish (Jalea Mixta) as an appetizer, which was a simple, perfect starter and paired great with beer. As my main course, I ordered the Tacu Tacu de Mariscos, or Shellfish Tacu Tacu: rice with Peruvian prepared beans, and shellfish with a rich sauce on top. My friends ordered the Ceviche de Corvina (seen above) and the Lomo de Res which they both really enjoyed.
I have personally been craving my friend’s Ceviche again since then and daydream about going for lunch, or a snack to sit down and have it again (side note: can we make breakfast ceviche a thing?)
“Have you tried Pisco Sours?” My friend asked me flipping through the menu.
My blank stare made her widen her eyes and order us a couple. Clearly, it was something I needed to try. The cocktail was tasty and definitely different than anything I’ve had before. It consists of Pisco (brandy) egg whites, lemon juice, and some added aromatic bitters. It was a bit simple for my taste, but worth a try since it was my first.
Other cocktails on the menu include the Maracuyá Sour, the Chicha Punch, and the Peruvian Mojito, all of which I will personally try next time; again, for research purposes.