back to top
Travel

This Is The One Restaurant You Must Try In Cusco, Peru

One of the most interesting dining experiences of my life.

Posted on

If you're in Cusco, Peru (likely for Machu Picchu), you should take a drive out to Moray and have lunch at MIL — an amazing restaurant with eccentric food and a sick view.

It's about an hour and half drive from Cusco. I don't recommend renting a car as driving in Peru is congested, but there are locals who do drives for pretty cheap. Also, Uber is likely not that expensive in that area. If you want the name and number of my driver, DM me!
MIL

It's about an hour and half drive from Cusco. I don't recommend renting a car as driving in Peru is congested, but there are locals who do drives for pretty cheap. Also, Uber is likely not that expensive in that area.

If you want the name and number of my driver, DM me!

If you watch Chef's Table on Netflix, you might be familiar with Vergilio Martinez of Central — a restaurant based in Lima, Peru and recognized as a Top 10 restaurant in the world (and the best in South America).

Netflix

It's a 16-course meal and the entire concept involves using ingredients from all different elevations of Peru. So each course is from different altitudes and the menu switches often due to seasonal changes.

Well in February of this year, Vergilio opened another place called MIL, and it was one of the most unique dining experiences of my life.

The cost of the MIL experience is $145 USD per person for eight courses.
Arielle Calderon

The cost of the MIL experience is $145 USD per person for eight courses.

First of all, the view from the restaurant is INCREDIBLE. It sits right over Moray, an ancient Inca agricultural site.

And it's in close proximity to Salineras de Maras, a salt mine you can (and should) visit.
Arielle Calderon

And it's in close proximity to Salineras de Maras, a salt mine you can (and should) visit.

And the decor inside is GORGEOUS. So clean and modern with big windows overlooking the Andes mountains. They even provide wool blankets if it gets too cold for you.

The room temperature is completely regulated by the temperature outside. So if it drops suddenly, you'll feel the shift inside. This is why they provide wool blankets.
Arielle Calderon

The room temperature is completely regulated by the temperature outside. So if it drops suddenly, you'll feel the shift inside. This is why they provide wool blankets.

The MIL experience consists of ingredients only local to the region. Their main objective is to showcase the region's diversity and expose products that are not often commercialized.

Arielle Calderon

They also make chocolate in-house from scratch using cacao seeds from Quillabamba's chuncho varieties (native cacao from Cusco). The coffee is locally sourced from Three Monkeys.

Arielle Calderon

They also offer a coffee experience for an extra $15 USD.

And when you get a tour of the restaurant, the staff will also explain their entire research process and how they create their special dishes.

The menu changes constantly (I think every month) to reflect the seasons and local ingredients.
Arielle Calderon

The menu changes constantly (I think every month) to reflect the seasons and local ingredients.

So now I'll go through all eight courses I ate. I'm not a food critic in the slightest, and the ingredients were so different that I can't even pinpoint exactly what each item was. But overall, most of it tasted very good!

Arielle Calderon

Course 1: PRESERVATION — Freeze-dried potato chuno, corn, wild uchucuta, oca.

Flavors ranged from sweet to salty, but my favorite was the quesadilla-looking thing. The purple paste was also excellent.
Arielle Calderon

Flavors ranged from sweet to salty, but my favorite was the quesadilla-looking thing. The purple paste was also excellent.

Course 2: PLATEAU — Cabuya nectar, lamb, kanihua grain, white quinoa.

The salad with beautiful, tiny flowers was my favorite from this course. It tasted very fresh and the dressing was a perfect addition to the greens.
Arielle Calderon

The salad with beautiful, tiny flowers was my favorite from this course. It tasted very fresh and the dressing was a perfect addition to the greens.

Course 3: ANDEAN FOREST — Lupinus legume, pork belly, avocado, rocoto pepper.

The pork belly (the rectangle-shaped food) was SUPERB. The purple sauce on top was a sweet addition (literally). The little muffins tasted similar to a nutty cornbread.
Arielle Calderon

The pork belly (the rectangle-shaped food) was SUPERB. The purple sauce on top was a sweet addition (literally). The little muffins tasted similar to a nutty cornbread.

Course 4: DIVERSITY OF CORN — Piscoronto, chullpi, white corn, queso fresco.

That little wedge of grilled cheese, mixed with the corn and chips was AMAZING. One of my favorites from the entire day.
Arielle Calderon

That little wedge of grilled cheese, mixed with the corn and chips was AMAZING. One of my favorites from the entire day.

Course 5: EXTREME ALTITUDE — Duck, black quinoa, lake blue-green algae, wheat.

Never in my life did I imagine myself eating algae, but I did! To be honest, it didn't taste like much, but the whole dish itself was packed with flavor. And the greens were crispy and a little salty; it was delicious.
Arielle Calderon

Never in my life did I imagine myself eating algae, but I did! To be honest, it didn't taste like much, but the whole dish itself was packed with flavor. And the greens were crispy and a little salty; it was delicious.

Course 6: CENTRAL ANDES — Potatoes, stems, chaco clay, chincho.

The interesting thing about this course is that you just eat the potato with your hands as it is (skin on, not chopped or seasoned, etc) and dip it in the sauce. Peru has over 3,000 varieties of potatoes, so that's a very popular ingredient in meals here.
Arielle Calderon

The interesting thing about this course is that you just eat the potato with your hands as it is (skin on, not chopped or seasoned, etc) and dip it in the sauce. Peru has over 3,000 varieties of potatoes, so that's a very popular ingredient in meals here.

Course 7: FROZEN CORDILLERA — Wild muna, tumbo, kjolle.

This was almost like a grainy snow cone with hints of tanginess. It wasn't my favorite but I definitely didn't dislike it.
Arielle Calderon

This was almost like a grainy snow cone with hints of tanginess. It wasn't my favorite but I definitely didn't dislike it.

Course 8: HUATIA OF CACAO — Mashwa, coca leaf, cacao, mucilage.

And for the final course, they used their house-made cacao (it was pudding-like substance that's under the white stuff). It tasted like a tangy ice cream.
Arielle Calderon

And for the final course, they used their house-made cacao (it was pudding-like substance that's under the white stuff). It tasted like a tangy ice cream.

Overall I thought it was an incredibly unique dining experience that opened my palate up to a ton of new ingredients I otherwise would have NEVER eaten. Thumbs up from me!

Arielle Calderon