The lights dim, the music starts and The Act begins. Memories of my childhood come flooding back as we are treated to an evening of entertainment that literally brings many of the toys of my childhood to life in a fun and quirky way. I’m engrossed not only in the show that happens on the stage but also within the restaurant itself. This is a show that engages you visually, that titivates your senses, that makes you smile as you remember a time before iPads and Gameboys and other electronic paraphernalia, as you remember playing with simple uncomplicated kids toys, Barbie and Action Man perhaps (though Action Man was never as hot as the guys on stage and my Barbie wore a little more clothes).
The Act is a fun, interactive, memorable entertaining and somewhat risqué evening where Peruvian fine dining meets childhood nostalgia and where you get to reminisce with some of the music from years gone past. I couldn’t resist smiling and joining in with an extremely comical version of YMCA which has to be seen and experienced. I’m not spilling the beans, but it was my favourite part of the show.
Simply put, this is a dinner event with entertainment and on weekends it’s also offers nightlife staying open til 3 am. The entertainment part of the evening changes theme approximately every six weeks or so with the current show being called Toys in the Attic. Basically you dine whilst you are entertained, with the courses being served in between acts.
Located on the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, The Act is the highest theatre venue in the world and offers a really innovative evening. I loved the interior of the theatre cum restaurant. The glasses and plates on our table reminded me of sunday afternoons at my grandmas house when she bought out her best china set whilst the interior is a very parisian cafe feel to it which reminded me of trips to Paris.
Onto the dining, I usually like to read and digest the menu for ages before deciding what dishes I want to try, but on this occasion we were treated to a whole range of dishes recommended by the Chef each showcasing the finest of modern Peruvian cuisine from a particular region of Peru or a fusion dish skilfully showing off the peruvian cuisine with a twist.
Some of my favourite dishes of the evening :
ceviche de salmon salmon, coconut, peruvian mango and aji limo chilli – delivering just a little kick of chilli which hit the tip of the tongue this was a clean, fresh and sweet dish off set with just the right amount of acidity.
camarones con maracuya crispy quinoa coated prawns, passion fruit and rococo reduction – not a quinoa fan at all, I was almost converted as the prawns were indeed crispy and succulent whilst the dressing was tangy and tart
solomillo grilled striploin with classic chimichurri – striploin is one of my favourite cuts of beef with just the right amount of fat to offset this succulent cut, the chimichurri sauce was perfect and I could have easily devoured more.
Dessert was granadilla cheesecake macerated strawberries, black pepper and white balsamic reduction, lovely as this was, it would not have been my choice from the menu as I would have preferred to try tres leches casero 3 milk cake and lemon grass toffee or tarta de la abuela courguette cake, pecans, yuzu cream and almond ice cream as they feel a little more traditional Peruvian to me.
Diners choose from a Peruvian menu on a price per head basis which offers a fixed number of starters/mains and desserts per person depending on the price paid, with supplements for some of the dishes depending on your choices, drinks are of course extra. I loved the concept of choosing on this basis, but can see that it would be easy to rack up quite a few additional supplements to your bill depending on your selections.
Cameras are not allowed during the evening, which made me a little twitchy as I am used to Instagramming and tweeting pictures of my evening out as I’m there, but actually on this occasion I was so enthralled with the performance and the dining, that I didn’t manage to do either and didn’t miss it.
I don’t want to spoil what’s to come and that’s why cameras are not allowed, plus flashes throughout the night would ruin the ambiance, but I did manage to sneak a few pictures for you to give you a preview of what you might see (with permission of course – I’m not that much of a rebel),
I loved The Act for the fact that it was unusual, entertaining and a different experience. Personally I wouldn’t have chosen all of the dishes we were served as there were a lot of carb heavy dishes which I wouldn’t have chosen, though my companion beside me enjoyed every morsel. I was a little frustrated to sometimes end up having to eat as the entertainment was going on and would have preferred possibly one less performance to allow us to do this, but maybe that’s because I eat with my eyes and senses and eating and watching a show don’t fit well for me. The evening we visited was a little quiet, but I imagine when it’s busy it would be a little more interactive and lively. Definitely on my list of places to return to.
Peruvian Signature Dishes & Drinks
Intrigued about Peruvian cuisine and want to know more ?? Head Chef Roberto Segura Gonzales was kind enough to share some recipes of some the signature dishes which you can find below as well as the ingredients for Pisco Sour a traditional peruvian cocktail, which is similar to the Chilian Pisco Sour which I feel in love with a while ago.
Recipe to follow .
The Peruvian Pisco Sour uses Peruvian pisco as the base liquor and adds Key lime (or lemon) juice, syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters.
Quinotto – (quinoa risotto, wild mushrooms, asparagus & fresh black trufle)
Quinotto is the hybrid name (quinoa + risotto) of this rich and creamy dish.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4.
- White quinoa 200 gr
- Yellow chili paste 50 gr
- Gravy (garlic + red onion) 30 gr
- Fresh milk 100 ml
- Red capsicum 10 gr
- Green asparagus 10 gr
- Button mushrooms 20 gr
- Oyster mushrooms 20 gr
- Shitake mushrooms 20 gr
- Portobello mushrooms 20 gr
- Black truffle 10 gr
- Parmesan cheese 50 gr
- Vegetable stock 100ml
1-Cut and Sauté the mushrooms separately in olive oil.
2-Precook the white quinoa in boil water approx. 11-12 min
3-In another pan, heat another 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil over medium heat. Add the gravy (garlic and red onions) and the yellow chili paste, cook about 3 minutes, add the quinoa already precooked Add the mix of mushrooms and cook about 5-6 minutes. Add the vegetables already precook.
4-Finally add the milk and the vegetable stock.
5-Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add parmesan cheese, Garnish with fresh truffle sliced
pulpo anticuchero grillado grilled spanish octopus, sweet panca sauce and butter bean puree
- 200 grams Spanish Octopus
- 80 grams Panca Peruvian chilli paste
- 50 grams white onion
- 80 grams fresh garlic
- 120 grams beans
- 200 grams Kalamata olives
- 2 egg yolks
- Edible flowers
- 200 mL Virgin Olive Oil
- 15 grams butter
- 5 grams cumin powder
- Fresh Oregano
- 40 grams white miso paste
- Salt and Peper (to taste)
- Cook the octopus in water, rice and green tea (enough rice and green tea so that the octopus is immersed) for 2.5 hours at approx at 175 degrees.
- Once it is ready, let it cool down and reserve.
- Cook the beans in a gravy base made up of the 50 grams of onion, 40grams of garlic, cummin powder, black pepper and salt. Reserve
- Use the first 100 gr of kalamata olives depited, then blanched for 10 seconds in hot water and then repeat the same operation two times, changing the water each time.
- Pass through a strainer and then place in a blender, add the egg yolks and the olive oil until you get an emulsion texture
- Take the other 100gr of Olives depitted, put into a small tray in the over at 100 degrees for 4 hours until they get dry, once they are dry chop the olives into very small pieces and reserve.
- Mix in a bowl the panca chilli paste, 40 gr of garlic, fresh oregano, and Miso paste. Mix well until you get a uniform sauce, then add the rosemary and poor on top of the octopus already cook.
- Leave the octopus in the marinade for at least 12 hours.
- Put the octopus on the charcoal grill until get a nice brown color on all sides.
- Re-heat the beans puree, and add the butter in now to melt and heat and maintain the temperature.
- Place the grilled octopus on top of the bean puree and add small amounts of the the kalamata oive emulsion on top as well. Finally, garnish with the dried (dry olives), olive oil, and edible flowers.
photos : Courtesy of myself and The Act
Disclaimer : I was a guest of The Act, but all opinions are my own.