Normally I visit a location a fair few times before I write about it on here, just to make sure it really is as good as I think (Astrid & Gastón, Hanzo, Tanta), although there are special occasions like Lima Food Week or Lima Restaurant Week where I have shared some places that I had only visited once but think would be a good option to visit, especially with the one-off discount (Mayta, Malabar, La Nacional).
However, there have been occasions where I visit somewhere and I just know that I’ll keep going back to visit whenever I can. This happened to me a while ago with El Pan de la Chola, and now with Cafe de Lima.
I went for the first time last week for lunch and fell in love with the setting and the menu. So we returned again yesterday, but for breakfast instead.
There are a few different locations for seating. You have the covered terrace, the mezzanine (with comfy sofas) and then the coffee bar.
My favourite is the gorgeous terrace area with fig trees popping up at the edge and in the middle. I feel like I’m eating in the middle of someone’s garden. You can even sit out here in the cooler weather as they have a big heater running along the far wall that really heats the space.
So once you’ve picked your table, what should you order?First up, drinks. Everyone loves a freshly squeezed citrus juice or a freshly blended smoothie. Try the grapefruit (s/9), it’s delicious (….don’t believe me, ask the dishes…. sorry I couldn’t help myself. Grey stuff, grapefruit…it’s similar. Plus, Lumiere is the best). Also the kiwi juice (s/9) is a hit too. The juices are all seasonal, so when I went in September there was no mango, but there were plenty of other fruits to choose from.
The hot chocolate (s/14) is dark and although I worried when I found it light and creamy to start, I needn’t have because the aftertaste brings that depth of chocolate that you just need! So good.
For breakfast, the menu is full of sandwiches and toasts, eggs and omelettes, and fruit salads and quinoa bowls. I went for possibly the sweetest thing on the menu….
Brioche Waffles (s/18).
They come smothered in honey and blueberry jam, and sprinkled with almonds, sunflower seeds and fresh blueberries and strawberries. It also comes with cream cheese and sweetened milk, but I am not a fan of dairy that isn’t in cheese or chocolate, so I chose to keep them away from my sweet bowl of goodness! I have to say the cream cheese would definitely be good at balancing the sweetness from the honey, fruit and brioche, if you like that kind of thing.
I saw the scrambled eggs heading out with their multigrain bread and the quail’s eggs and avocado toast too, both looking super tempting. Maybe next time….
They do a large selection of ‘tostadas’ (toasted bread with toppings) and sandwiches throughout the day and one that we absolutely loved was ‘Hummus de Lima’ (s/18) with aubergine hummus (humous). The hummus comes spread (generously) on two slices of multigrain bread, which was some of the best bread I’ve had in Lima, and then topped with shredded raw veggies. Amazing starter. Also, if you love the bread as much as me, you can buy a whole loaf to take away, just like I did!
Then we followed that up with two personal pizzas, however when I say personal, it’s not small. What I mean is, I don’t want to share it. We did in fact swap a few slices, but I wasn’t giving anything away for free. Equal exchange only.
Their pizzas are thin and a perfect balance between doughy and crispy. Love. Love. Love.
They come topped with Italian cheese (Fior di Latte mozzarella and DO Grana Padano) and then a variety of ingredients depending on your pizza of choice.
Now, I love hawaiian pizza, so I was thrilled to see it on the menu here. I know some people are really against pineapple on pizza, but unless you’ve tried caramelised pineapple on pizza, you have zero opinion.
This ‘Hawaiana’ (s/29) pizza comes topped with proper ham (artisanal Virginia ham), not the watery processed kind you normally find in the supermarket here, and then chunks of caramelised pineapple. Caramelising the pineapple is such a simple idea, but it makes a massive difference in flavour. I was such a fan.
We also tried the ‘Super Kale’ (s/29), which comes topped with kale (obviously), wheat germ sprouts, caramelised onions (in balsamic), pepperoncino and a balsamic reduction.
This pizza tastes way better than it sounds. Kale and pizza are not obvious food partners, but boy do they taste so good together. I think it’s the balsamic glaze that really links everything.
We finished our meal with a dessert and there were a lot to choose from. The chocolate cake and the carrot cake both looked tempting but we actually decided to go for the passion fruit tres leches (s/12) instead. If you’re not familiar with a tres leches, have a look at this post here, but it’s basically a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk. Now, I hate milk, including evaporated and condensed, but I love tres leches. I can’t explain it.
This tres leches came as a layered dessert (think trifle) and alternates tres leches with a passionfruit mousse, finished with a chantilly cream. I was so surprised because this dessert is really light, whereas tres leches is normally a very sweet, sickly dessert. The passionfruit mousse gives this traditional dessert a whole new life.
If you end up going, let me know your favourite dish in the comments below, so I know what to order next time!