Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood

  • Ambience 85%
  • Service 85%
  • Food 85%
  • Creativity 90%
  • Value 65%

Restaurant Details
Restaurant Details
Locale: Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood
Address: Humbolt 1550
Telephone: +54 11 4843-1751
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining
Cuisine: Peruvian
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$$$
Menu items offered: Ceviche - Aquachile, Coffee, Desserts, Salads, Seafood
Mon-Sat: 12pm to 4pm & 8pm to 1am, Sun: Closed,

Review Summary
Peruvian-Asian Fusion in a casual, contemporary setting. Authentic Peruvian cuisine but way overpriced. The prix fixe lunch menu makes Olaya worth a visit for lunch, weekdays.

The full review for Olaya

Review by: Ollie O Rating: 4.1 stars Review Date: 08/29/2018

Olaya is one of a handful of restaurants in Buenos Aires, along with Osaka, Páru Inkas, La Mar, Tanta, and Sippan, offering authentic Peruvian cuisine and the Japanese-Peruvian fusion-cuisine, called Nikkei.

Olaya’s décor is that sort of a modern industrial look with appealing art and comfortable, casual table settings. High vaulted ceilings in a professionally and effectively lighted space created a pleasant, yet unassuming atmosphere. A bar runs along the left wall of the room with a large open kitchen along the same wall at the back of the building behind glass that enables the diners to view the busy staff of Peruvian chefs going about their business.

Regrettably, a microwave oven and a disorderly arrangement of plastic containers, bowls and boxes of plastic wrap, sacks of flour, and other kitchen supplies on a shelf located on the back white tiled wall in the kitchen detract from an otherwise pleasant décor. That, and the fact, that the place has received inadequate maintenance since opening more than five years ago, has turned a once sophisticated restaurant into a run-of-the-mill casual dining spot.

The menu offers the widest variety of Peruvian cuisine in the city. Perhaps a bit too much variety. Everything from unique gourmet dishes to Peruvian comfort food, like the emblematic Ají de Gallina. But the fact is that half the menu is simple Peruvian dishes featuring inexpensive proteins such a chicken, and even less costly rice and potatoes, both staples of Peruvian cuisine, yet is one of the highest-priced menus in the city. It’s more expensive than Osaka. More expensive than Cabaña las Lilas. More expensive than Roux. That, my friends, makes zero sense. Personally, I wouldn’t pay the a la carte prices for this food. It’s cheaper to fly to Lima for a meal.

That said, there’s a reasonable alternative to being overcharged for a meal. The restaurant happens to offer a mid-day prix fixe menu with one, two or three menu items and a beverage for a very reasonable price. I’m not exaggerating when I say that a similar meal in the evening could cost as much as four times what you’d pay for lunch.

On a recent visit I had the three-dish menu featuring an excellent ceviche, a chaufa (a rice stir-fry with chicken), and a chicharron de pescado (fried fish nuggets). Execution was good, but not flawless. The chicharron would have been better had it been crispier. The rice in the chaufa was slightly dry. None of those slight errors of execution would even be noticed by most diners. At the price, I think the meal is a value, and presents one of the best, if not the best option, for experiencing a range of Peruvian cuisine at a reasonable price. I would recommend the lunch without hesitation.

So, in summary, Olaya presents a wide range of Peruvian cuisine. The a la carte menú is grossly overpriced. But the mid-day lunch menu is a value. In other words, go for lunch, not for dinner. For dinner, go to Gaston Acurio’s Tanta, and with the money you save, buy me a present.

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