Monday, January 22, 2018

Be the Change (Huncaina Tacos)

The sign read "Mexican/Peruvian Fusion", and I got a good vibe, so in I strolled to Fusion HK Bar and Grill (688 10th Ave between 48 and 49, Manhattan).

The place was empty, the chef was on break, but the bartender offered to cook for me. The menu wasn't anywhere near as fascinating as I'd hoped (when is it ever?). Just a bunch of hoary Peruvian and Mexican classics, at crazy Manhattan prices.

Inspiration struck, and I asked for chorizo tacos....with huancaina sauce. In case you don't know about huancaina, the Peruvian cheese sauce, my smartphone app, Eat Everywhere, explains it thus:

Papa a la HuancaĆ­na / Potato with Cheese Sauce [PAH-pah a la wan-kah-EE-nah]

So simple, and so unique. There's nothing like it in the world: slices of boiled potato, served cold and topped with bright yellow cheese sauce. The yellow is from the tasty, incendiary ~amarillo~ peppers that are a signature of Incan cuisine.
Understand: it is stark raving bonkers to ask for tacos with huancaina sauce. It's like ordering yogurt bolognese, or Cheerios with Thai curry, or samosas parmigiana. But I had been disappointed, and it bothered me a little, so inspiration struck and I came up with the kookiest, cleverest way to merge the two cuisines I could think of. My own Peruvian/Mexican fusion!

The bartender/temporary cook didn't have the cojones to actually apply the huancaina, so it was served alongside in an aloof little cup. You could almost smell the disapproval.

But I lathered it on, along with the fake Mexican chili sauce, and the tacos were fucking incredible:

(that's a shot of chilled pisco to the left)

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