Ceviche, Steak & Uruguayan Wine: We Tried Manchester's Pink South American Restaurant

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Starting life as a kitchen residency, Peru Perdu has now fully taken over The Cotton Factory Manchester. Thanks to its blush and fuchsia tones to match South American flavours, this is somewhere that'd been on my to-visit list far longer than it should've been. While there's a fair few steak spots scattered around town, I had it on good authority that the cuts and cooking here even rivalled old favourites like Hawksmoor. A claim worth investigating come date night? Most definitely.

Peru Perdu At The Cotton Factory Manchester Review | DesignMyNight

Check out the pretty pink hues at this pick of Peruvian restaurants in Manchester.

Having spent a fair bit of time looking at Peru Perdu's socials, I had high expectations for the dining space on arrival and, my my, was it a bona fide beauty. Tasteful pops of pink splattered alcoves and feature walls, while candle-lit tables were framed by foliage, colourful wall art and a vibrant open kitchen. After being shown to a cosy, rounded booth at the far end of the restaurant (a secluded spot I'd really recommend for a romantic meal), pisco sours (£11) were immediately in order.

There's a bit of contention about whether the cocktail's namesake spirit originated in Chile or Peru, but whatever side of the fence you're on, you can't deny the draw of this house concoction - a marriage of punchy citrus, bitters, booze and fluffy whites. The final flourish? These came served on handmade mats, which, alongside the colourful cushion covers, were hand-woven by an elderly Peruvian lady in her home country.

Next up, we tackled the extensive menu ranging from organic U.W.A (Uruguayan wet-aged) beef to vegan sweet potato dishes smothered in turtle bean salsa. In the end, our meal began with scallop ceviche (£10) and tiger milk chicken (£10) starters - two choices that immediately demonstrated the breadth of the offerings here, alongside the chefs' skills. The hand-dived shellfish of the former was fresh and buttery soft, accompanied by zingy pomelo, pink ginger, little rice crisps and a delicate hint of coriander. The latter was much more rich and hearty, thanks to a tender yet crispy battered breast sat on a bed of coriander, coconut, chilli and lime-covered crunchy veggies.

Peru Perdu Manchester Menu Review | DesignMyNight

Peru Perdu Manchester's menu shows as much style as the space itself.

Having eagerly inhaled our starters along with the expertly matched Argentinian El Porvenir (£8 a glass), a crisp, tropical and citrus blossom-laced example of the country's only native white grape, we were ready for the main event: steak. For me, the meat of the hour was ribeye cap (from £25), which was a slightly more marbled cut than my partner's ribeye medallion (from £27). While some of Peru Perdu's cheapest beef, it made us more than happy to be steered away from fillet - often assumed to be the 'best' - by both our personal preferences and the knowledgeable waiter. Presented on a wooden board with sides of moreish creamed corn (£6) and hand-cut chips (£5), our mains were simply divine. The way our knives glided through these juicy, organic steaks was already the stuff of any carnivore's dreams, and that's before you even get to that perfectly seared flavour. Mwah.

Out of the two sauces we chose, the traditional chimichurri and the Peru Perdu's signature superchimmi, we'd go for the slightly spicier second pick every time. It was so rich it verged on creamy and packed with slightly sweet chillies, while still having enough acidity to complement every meaty morsel. Topping it off? South America's red grape of the moment, Cabarnet Franc. Our Uruguayan Bogegones Del Sur Vineyard Select (£8 a glass) was a dangerously drinkable partner, boasting juicy red fruits and a light body.

Peru Perdu Menu Steak | DesignMyNight

The best steak in Manchester? It's certainly a contender.

Our biggest surprise, though, came at the sweet end of our meal. I'd hoped the savoury elements here would be outstanding (and they were), but I hadn't thought this restaurant would go and pull my favourite dessert ever out the bag. Topped with Italian meringue and winter berries, the dulce de leche cheesecake managed to be light yet indulgent, and really caramelly but not sickly, all at the same time. Pure dessert genius. Wolfed down sharing-style alongside the don pedro (£10), a boozy drink of Hennessy VS, vanilla ice and dulce de leche that's a pud in its own right, this combo had us eager for more (even when we were totally stuffed).

The DesignMyNight Digest 

From the steaks and ceviche to drinks, dessert and even the finest of decorative details, Peru Perdu excelled at every opportunity. The chefs nailed cooking, flavour and textures across all dishes, while faultless service paired wine or made sound recommendations. For a taste of South America in the heart of Manchester, it's hard to see how it could get much better than this - and the place isn't bad to look at either.

  💰 The damage: £175 for three courses and three drinks each, plus service charge.

  📍  The location: 74 Princess Street, M1 6JD.

  👌 Perfect for: Steak, seafood, dessert, cocktails, exceptional service - the whole lot.

 ⭐ Need to know: P'tit Perdu in the stunning greenhouse next door is sorting you for post-dinner tipples too.


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