La Perla

Cartagena has its fair share of Peruvian pretenders muscling in on the Caribbean ceviche scene but La Perla - the first to put Cocina Novoandina on the menu in Colombia's Pearl of the Caribbean - still takes some beating.

Five years after it moved into Mila's former premises, opposite the exclusive boutique Hotel Agua, La Perla has established itself as a swish landmark on one of Cartagena's best tasting streets, Calle de Ayos.

Nestled in with other culinary favourites, El Bistro and Oh! Lâ Lâ, this contemporary Peruvian specialist has established itself as one of the first stops for gourmands looking for great food at great prices.

Famed for its tiraditos - thin strips of fresh tuna or sea bass cured intiger milk (Peruvian marinades with a Capiscum or yellow chilli kick) or Nikkei variations that incorporate Peru's strong Asian gastronomic ties - La Perla has managed to stay one step ahead of the Andean pack by freshening up its menu at least once a year.

Peruvian chef Carlos Accinelli works closely with owner Roberto Carrascal to ensure the menu gets a facelift as regularly as the petite diner's stylish interiors.

There's no shifting the stars of the show though with neither the classic Ceviche Corvina (sea bass ceviche) or the Lomo La Perla, a sirloin steak served with a Roquefort-laced sauce served on a bed of creamy mushroom rice, showing any signs of going out of fashion any time soon.

The owner's passion for cocktails comes through in La Perla's impressive selection of Caribbean creations with the bar staff making the most of Colombia's rich variety of fresh fruits to add a new twist to some staple South American tipples.

Standout tragos worthy of an evening to remember include the Mojito Mango Biche made with green mango or a Pisco Sour Maracuya, given a little extra zip with lashings of Passion Fruit citric goodness.

Carrascal's personal favourite, a Martini La Perla involves Hpnotiq Vodka and Tanqueray Gin mixed with basil, cucumber, lemon and Blue Curaçao that will leave your friends green with menu envy.

ADDRESS: Centro, Calle de Ayos #4-42, Cartagena, Colombia.
TELEPHONE: +57 (5) 664 2157
FOOD: Seafood is the speciality but don't miss the Steak La Perla

La Perla

Restaurant Information

Address: Centro, Calle de Ayos #4-42, Cartagena, Colombia.
Neighbourhood: Centro
Hours & days:
Type of food: Seafood is the speciality but don't miss the Steak La Perla
Rating: Trip Advisor