Cost: 16 soles (fettucine with mushrooms) + 2 soles (sprite)
Where: Calle Bellavista and Calle Jose Galvez
I spend the evening conducting an exhaustive search for a restaurant with a cheap menu. For some reason I want pasta. Unfortunately the so-called cheap street, Berlin, is not cheap, not in the evening at least, and it’s impossible to find a typical Peruvian ‘menu economico’, so I end up in a cute German-themed café called Kulka Café which looks like it’s been transplanted from Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires. I know it’s German because the man at the till is a tall, white, dreadlocked German and the menu contains various plates based on ‘German Sausage’. I get the not-very-German fettucine with mushrooms for 16 Soles – it’s a bit crap.
Bad or bland food is a common disease of cute cafes. They believe that if the café is attractive and inviting then there’s no need to bother with the food. It could be down to economics: if the space is nice then people will come, whatever the quality of food, so there’s no need to splash out on good ingredients or quality chefs. Or it could be down to laziness: they can’t be expected to make an effort with the décor and the food! It is a rare and beautiful thing to find a café that is both beautiful and tasty.