The evening after Stu and I first rocked up at the Karikuy headquarters last week, fresh (ha!) off a 16-hour bus journey, we were whisked off into Lima by Julio and his friends to enjoy a night on the town. It was Saturday night, and there was no time to waste! Our first stop was Oceanika, a sushi bar in the San Borja area of Lima where you can pay 40 soles for all-you-can eat sushi. Now, up until that fateful evening Julio mentioned that he held the record for highest number of sushi pieces eaten there (55). The effect of this statement was to immediately create a sense of healthy competition – Alex and Sal in particular were determined to beat the record! The sushi was delicious, and it just kept on coming, plateful after plateful. One by one our competitors dropped out of the running, until finally Sal was crowned the new champion after eating 60 pieces of sushi! Go, Sal! He definitely looked worse for wear by the end of the meal but the point is he won, dammit!
After dinner we went out to Ayahuasca Bar, a grand old mansion-turned-cocktail bar in the Barranco district. Ayahuasca Bar was listed among the top 35 worldwide by Condé Nast Traveller magazine, who publish an annual ranking of bars based on surveys conducted among its readers. Warning: this place is extremely trendy. There was a bafflingly wide variety of drinks offered there, including exotic-sounding ones made with Peruvian ingredients such as aguaymanto, sachatomate and ruda. One of the most recommended drinks is the curandero cocktail, which mixes coca leaves macerated in pisco with starfruit, lime and sugar. One of the best ones we tried on our visit was a mango mojito. The bar has kept the mansion feel of the big old house: there are several salons lined with sofas and many bars in the different rooms. It was very busy, so we headed down to the super-smart basement to find a table.
What a good introduction to Lima’s nightlife!
Ania is a researcher and blogger for the Karikuy Volunteer Program in Lima, Peru.