1:00 pm. The hubbub of a busy lunch break. Business people in summery outfits finding seats. My eyes wander through the bright room, kept in warm white and brown colours. Old mosaic tiles cover the floor, a low brick wall separates the bar and the dining room. A group of guys jokingly order drinks from the waiter. A familiar atmosphere, people obviously know each other.
I’m in Rafael Osterling’s “Rafael”, a highly popular restaurant in the middle of Miraflores. This fashionable district of Lima is located in a two kilometre beeline from the beaches of the Pacific coast.
First, Rafael apologises through the means of a waiter for his absence, but then over half an hour later he greets me with an intimacy as if we had gone to school together. Barely sitting, he orders the first appetisers to our table. Sliced Mediterranean style tuna with capers and olive oil as well as a salad of arugula, cherry tomatoes and avocado. If there hadn’t been cubed mango on my plate, as well as fresh palm tree hearts and a dip with “aji Amarillo”, Peru’s juicy yellow chilli, I could have imagined I was in Sardinia.
13.00 Uhr. Quirlige Mittagspause. Geschäftsleute in sommerlichen Businessoutfits finden ihre Plätze. Mein Blick schweift durch den lichten, in warmen Weiß- und Brauntönen gehaltenen Raum. Alte gemusterte Fliesen am Boden, eine halbhohe Backsteinmauer als Trennwand zwischen Bar und Speiseraum. Eine Männergruppe bestellt scherzend ihre Getränke beim Kellner. Vertraute Atmosphäre. Man kennt sich.