Raul Ramos
Photo by Mark Hancock

A friend and I recently took a trip to Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant, 2106 SW 44th St. The restaurant is a little difficult to spot, as it is rather small and connected to another establishment. We were able to find it within a few minutes, though.

Samara and Raul Ramos, both from Peru, opened the restaurant in 2010 to bring authentic Peruvian cuisine to Oklahoma.

I’ve spent some time in South America, including a little time in Peru, and the atmosphere of Naylamp immediately reminded me of being there. It is small but comfortable. There are a number of paintings and photos of Peru as well as some traditional Peruvian decorations. The decor, combined with Spanish-language music and a friendly staff, provided a welcoming start to our dining experience.

We began our meals with a few appetizers: plato serrano ($6.99) and choritos a la chalaca ($6.99). The former was a mix of fried plantains; sweet potatoes; and yucca, a potato-like root, served with a sauce made from cheeses and a South American plant called huacatay. All three of the items were pretty tasty, but our favorite was definitely the warm and sweet plantains. The creamy sauce also added some nice flavor.

The choritos a la chalaca included mussels on the half shell marinated in lime juice and topped with tomato and onion. The mussels were excellently complemented by flavors of citrus and spice. This dish was my favorite part of the meal.

For entrees, we chose seco de carne ($9.99) and aji de gallina ($8.99).

Seco de carne is a Peruvian beef stew. It featured tender chunks of beef smothered in a cilantro-infused sauce mixed with diced potatoes and peas. It was served with white rice and onion and tomato. I am a huge cilantro fan, so I loved this dish. The flavor was perfect, and the meat was tender and moist. I mixed the meat, sauce, rice and vegetables together. It tasted like a Peruvian version of curry.

Aji de gallina is a dish that features shredded chicken breast cooked with walnut; milk; cheeses; and aji panca, a Peruvian pepper. It came with white rice and boiled potatoes. The chicken was seasoned and cooked to perfection, and the sauce was warm, creamy and delicious.

To put the finishing touch on the meal, we tried some flan ($3) for dessert. I had actually never tried flan before and was surprised by its texture and taste. It was a great way to end the experience.

I also enjoyed some fresh mango juice ($3.50), which was sweet and refreshing.

The owners told me that they feature dishes that represent each region of Peru. For example, the choritos a la chalaca would be more of a coastal dish. That explains the variety of options that Naylamp’s menu offers.

Other authentic options on the menu include ceviche mixto ($13.99) and lomo saltado ($9.99).

The food and atmosphere at Naylamp are great, and the owners offer dishes that are both different and authentic.

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Ryan Querbach

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