The Norman Transcript

March 2, 2014

Restaurant crosses cultural cuisine boundaries

By Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Mamaveca Mexican and Peruvian Restaurant, 2551 W. Hemphill Dr., is re-opening its doors with a revamped menu during a special event 4 to 9 p.m. March 12.

William Chunga, co-owner with his wife Monica Chunga, said the new menu will include several dishes that blend Peruvian and Mexican styles of cooking, more flexible lunch options, several more dessert items and more vegetables included on many of the dishes.

The unveling event includes half-price menu options, excluding alcohol sales.

When the restaurant opened in December 2007, William said the menu was initially made entirely of Mexican favorites created from William and Monica’s experience working in many Mexican restaurants. Once they had gained their footing, William, a native of Peru himself, said they hired a Peruvian chef from his homeland to create authentic Peruvian dishes for the menu.

Little by little, William said more and more customers began ordering from the Peruvian menu. Some customers come to the restaurant only for the Peruvian food, William said, which includes many classic dishes. Now, William estimates 60 percent order from the Mexican menu and 40 percent order from the Peruvian menu.

William said the Peruvian menu reflects Peru’s culinary traditions, including traditional dishes inspired by unique Peruvian ingredients and the South American country’s multicultural heritage. The cuisine combines influences from Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Italian cooking.

The Mamaveca menu includes a section of Chinese-inspired options, called “chaufas.” William said in Peru the Chinese restaurants are called “chaufas” and include Chinese dishes cooked with Peruvian ingredients. Mamaveca specifically offers Peruvian-Chinese style fried rice with eggs, green onions and choice of chicken, vegetables or shrimp, mussels and calamari. The result is a colorful dish that is at once familiar and foreign.

Mamaveca’s lomito saltado, a classic dish, is a sauteed lean beef mixed with red onions and tomatoes, served with sides of fries and steamed rice. The beef has a hearty flavor that is set off by the light crispness of the onions and the juiciness of the tomatoes.

The restaurant’s ceviche options — including fish, shrimp, mussels and calamari — are popular among customers, William said. The seafood, marinated in lime juice, is served cold with sweet potatoes, sliced red onions and corn.

The restaurant’s regular hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 573-4003.

Hannah Cruz



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