“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%”
– Andrew Carnegie, Industrialist, Philanthropist
Buenos Aires – I was going to apologize for not having my camera with me (but then, am I really required to always have it with me?), and the quality of the phone photos, but then I realized, that a more or less average photo is pretty much what this new Peruvian restaurant deserves. Mochica, Agüero 520, alongside the Abasto, is that place. Now, had I looked at their website beforehand, we might not have gone (and we only did because Solopescados, on the other side of the Abasto, was closed for vacation when we arrived) – after all, the entry flash screen announces in bold red letters “Restaurante Turistico”. Warning, Danger Will Robinson, Warning…
You know how when you ask someone in English how they are and they respond “Fine”, that pretty much says it all – it adds up to an okay, nothing special, nothing bad, nothing worth really reporting on in my life sort of statement? Here, when you ask, the standard response is “Acá” or “here”… pretty much the same thing. Mochica is acá. If there’s anything that’s out of line, it’s that the prices are geared towards those tourists it is seeking out, so though the room may be white tablecloth set with wine glasses, and the food is authentic and reasonably well prepared, and prettily presented, the cost is about 50% higher than most Peruvian spots around.
We started off with sharing a tamal, good enough. Flavorful, all the right components, actually the onion salad was quite good. It just cost 12 pesos.
The ceviche was fresh, and reasonably good, though missing any real kick, just a bit of ginger and onion with an obligatory chili off to the side rather than chopped up and mixed in. The usual simple boiled potato, yam and yuca root were replaced by a couple of pieces of saccharine sweet caramelized yam, which didn’t work at all. And at 35 pesos, it’s one of the more expensive ceviches around.
The adobo de cerdo or pork braised in beer and spices, was also lacking in much of spice – it was fine, other than one piece that was a little tough, the rest was nice and tender, it just desperately needed to be “kicked up a notch”, and suffered from the same caramelized yams and a 28 peso price tag.
So, it was an okay lunch and that’s where we’ll leave it. The cost, while not high for a touristy restaurant (and everyone else who was in the place was a tourist from one of the nearby hotels, sent over no doubt), and not even that high by current BsAs standards, was simply high for the quality and for a Peruvian spot, which tend to be less expensive, especially in the ‘hood around the Abasto.