Mancora Peruvian Cuisine

107 Addison Rd, Marrickville, NSW

Ceviche clasico.
Peru's national dish ... ceviche clasico. Photo: Steven Siewert

Joanna Savill

Peruvians love potatoes. And they have lots of them - 5000 varieties or so - with many ways of serving them. Peru is also home to chillies - thousands of them, too, including a juicy but potent yellow chilli, and a squat and rather feisty fellow known as rocoto. Then there's a fierce grappa-like liquor called pisco and another national dish - ceviche - in which raw fish is doused with a fresh lime-onion-and-chilli-based marinade known, rather exotically, as leche de tigre, or tiger's milk.

These are things you probably need to know if you're heading to this blindingly white-walled dining room on a dark part of Addison Road. Named after a seaside town in northern Peru, Mancora is squeaky-new, with multi-coloured Peruvian paintings on the wall and a bouncy, up-tempo soundtrack of Latin classics. (If you're not a fan of Gypsy Kings, Guantanamera and Besame Mucho, think about going elsewhere.)

Keeping to the under-$30 budget may be tricky when raw-fish entrees such as ceviche and tiradito (sliced fish rather than ceviche chunks) start at $20. But they're ideal to share and, to paraphrase writer Alexander McCall Smith, traditionally portioned - read, large serves. The ceviche is excellent: fresh-as fish pieces, a good drenching of citrusy tiger's milk, finely sliced spanish onion, coriander and the traditional contrasts of sweet potato, roasted corn and corn kernels.

Mancora Peruvian Restaurant in Marrickville.
Light and bright ... Mancora Peruvian Restaurant. Photo: Fiona Morris

To balance the ceviche, you might opt for a potato dish. Best perhaps is a crema (cream) item - boiled potato slices drizzled with Peruvian sauces in a lovely range of orange, cream and green. These include ocopa (with feta and a musty herb called huacatay), huancaina (with yellow chillies) and a mayo-like version. The huancaina packs a decent punch.

There's a series of seafood rice dishes for the main course. Or perhaps, to keep on budget, a stuffed potato. Alternatively, there's the old Lima favourite called lomo saltado, in the ''chifa'' or Chinese-Peruvian tradition. It's a simple soy-laced stir-fry of beef strips served on hand-cut chips (more spuds) and a hillock of rice. Plain but good.

Mancora is barely two months old and the kitchen can be a little slow, the prices a tad ambitious for the area (our pisco sour cocktails were $15 each and, while properly executed, not traditionally portioned) and they don't take credit cards.

But it's a fun place for some bright new flavours. And at least a dozen interesting ways with potatoes.

Do … have a Peruvian Tres Cruces (Three Crosses) beer. Great with potatoes.

Don't … forget to bring cash.

Dish … ceviche. As it should be done.

Vibe … whitewashed modern with folksy overtones.

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107 Addison Rd, Marrickville, NSW

  • Cuisine - South American
  • Prices - Entrees $16-$25, mains $12-$25, desserts $10
  • Cards accepted - Cash
  • Opening Hours - Wed-Sun, noon-10pm
  • Author - Joanna Savill
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Reader ratings (2)

1 comment so far

  • We celebrated a friend's birthday here not so long ago as we like to support new bars & restaurants in the neighbourhood. While the atmosphere and staff were fun, the let down to be honest, is the food. All the main meat dishes are absolutely BLAND!! Surprisingly, another table said to us the food had no flavour but we thought we'd make our own judgement for ourselves.

    We all ordered different meals so we could compare dishes, but we may as well have ordered 1 dish as surprisingly, they all tasted very similar. We wanted something with a bit of kick to it, a few spices but sadly, there was nothing. Not even extra salt could give it the boost it needed.

    The management need to realise that we like to enjoy the flavours & spices of Peruvian food - don't think we diners all have delicate palates, we go to restaurants so we can enjoy the flavours of that country in your dishes. Please, be more authentic and give us diners what we want.... the true flavours of Peru!! Then... perhaps..... we might be back!

    Date and time
    March 23, 2013, 3:09PM

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