Exquisite Peruvian flavors, melding centuries of global influences and a link to the Incas, are showing up on more upscale menus in South Florida. Yet for the best, authentic fare, we still head to small, neighborhood nooks like Malulo’s in Pompano Beach. Peruvian friends have been raving about the delicioso dishes prepared by owner-chef Eduardo “Malulo” Durand, with help from his wife and three grown children.
Durand grew up in Cerro de Pasco in central Peru, where he developed a love of cooking in his parents’ kitchen. He learned more about his country’s diverse food when he traveled as a salesman for a laboratory company. If Durand liked a dish, says his daughter Meilyn Reiterer, he would head straight to the kitchen to ask the chef about its preparation. When the firm closed, Durand turned his passion into a business, launching his first restaurant in Peru.
Lots of Peruvian transplants eat at Malulo’s, savoring traditional dishes like anticuchos (skewered beef heart), chaufa de pollo (fried rice with chicken) and the country’s famed ceviches. But everyone will feel welcome. Reiterer’s husband, Hans, is a great help explaining dishes and making recommendations.
Ambience: Opened six years ago, the 60-seat Pompano Beach restaurant is decorated with clay wind chimes, blankets and other mementos from home and brightened with red and white tablecloths.
- A strarter of yuquitas a la huancaina – lightly fried yucca
- A complementary snack of cancha roasted corn kernels
- Cool, fresh strawberry juice, served in a pitcher with a head of light froth
- Ceviche mixto – a plateful of raw fish, octopus, shrimp, mussels and other seafood in a refreshing limejuice marinade with thinly sliced red onions, large kernels of Peruvian corn and a slice of cooked sweet potato
- Leche de tigre – leftover ceviche marinade considered a great hangover cure
- Comforting, homey & aromatic chupe de camarones soup spiked with red chile and oregano and packed with shrimp, rice, a little cheese, tomatoes, onions, a few peas, carrots and slices of fried egg
- Tacu tacu – canario beans pureed and formed into a large, pan-fried patty with onions and rice
- Lomo saltado – a classic beef stir-fry that reflects the impact of Chinese laborers on Peru’s culinary history
- Rich, creamy risotto with shrimp broth, perfectly cooked short-grained rice and lots of shrimp, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese
- Ají de gallina – shredded chicken in a creamy chile sauce with sliced potatoes and hard-boiled eggs
- Grilled swai, a mild fish that tastes like catfish, topped with a delicate garlic sauce.
- House-made chocolate and lucuma mousse layered in a glass cup