Not knowing much about Peruvian cuisine, I had to research to discover what it’s all about. I learned that Peruvian cooking combines elements from many cultures and ethnicities found in Peru: African, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish, to name a few. This unique blend of flavors has made its way to east Austin thanks to Yuyo, the newest concept from El Chile Group. The menu is diverse and you won’t feel intimated, even if it’s your first time trying Peruvian cuisine. Check out some of the highlights from my recent visit!
Thank you to Yuyo for covering the cost of my meal for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
Yuyo is currently open for dinner service only, starting at 4:30 p.m. If you’re fortunate enough to visit during daylight hours, the space is bright and inviting. The decor is simple, with wood accents and splashes of color throughout, and the dining room makes you feel right at home. In the evening, the restaurant makes for a perfect date night spot. Yuyo offers an outdoor patio with additional extra seating, which is enclosed during cool weather.
Yuyo’s cuisine is diverse, so you’ll have many options. As a newcomer to Peruvian flavors, I was expecting my dishes to be spicy, but they weren’t. Instead, they were full of flavor–savory with a bit of sweetness and just a hint of spice. The dishes at Yuyo are quite colorful and aesthetically pleasing. For instance, the purple potato makes an appearance several times throughout the menu.
Snacks and Appetizers
I appreciate that Yuyo not only offers appetizers, but snacks like the chifles–plantain and blue potato chips with ahi amarillo salsa for dipping, served in a small, colorful basket. A fun way to start a meal, or something to munch if you’re coming in for drinks.
The costillas, pork ribs covered in guava ahi adobo and served with pickled carrots, were a big hit at my table. They were tender; the sauce was delicious; and I will probably order them again on my next visit.
Yuyo offers a number of cebiches on the menu, made fresh-to-order. With a Japanese influence, the fish is handled more delicately than you might be used to. Fish is “cooked” with an acid, such as lime juice or another citrus. The presentation of the cebiches at Yuyo is beautiful. Almost too beautiful to eat! I decided to try the pulpo al olivo, which featured octopus, botija olive aioli, yuyo (purple seaweed), and purple potatoes, topped with micro greens.
If you’re looking for something more hearty, there are plenty of entrees to choose from. Meat and seafood are highlights here. The lomo saltado is a stir-fry of beef tenderloin, potatoes, peppers, onions, and tomatoes in a soy-aji panca sauce. This dish was robust and filling.
A popular seafood dish is arroz con marizcos. Similar to a paella, it includes corvina (fish), clams, mussels, aji amarillo, and seafood broth, served with jasmine rice.
Don’t forget dessert! Everything on the dessert menu sounds amazing, but the choco-palta left me wanting more. Chocolate mousse was covered with whipped avocado (which tasted like kiwi), sprinkled with puffed quinoa, and topped with strawberries. I am typically not a fan of chocolate-covered fruit, but this dish was incredible!
Cocktails and Happy Hour
A number of cocktails on Yuyo’s menu are made with pisco. Pisco is not a wine, even though it’s made with fermented grape juice. It’s actually a brandy made by distilling the fermented grape juice. Typically produced in regions of Peru and Chile, it’s no surprise that pisco makes an appearance on Yuyo’s menu.
You can select from a variety of specialty cocktails, as well as beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options.
Happy hour is every day from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. I love Yuyo’s happy hour menu because it offers seven food options all under $8. They are items not available on the regular menu.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Yuyo. I highly recommend talking to your server about the menu. He or she can guide you to the plates you’ll enjoy most.
Yuyo gave me a delightful taste into Peruvian cuisine and I look forward to trying more from the menu on my next visit.
1900 Manor Road – Website
@amandalgagnon wants to know:
Have you been to Yuyo? What’s your favorite menu item?
➡️ Related reading: “Coming This Summer: Yuyo Peruvian Kitchen and Pisco Bar”