I’m excited that we finally have a contemporary Peruvian restaurant thanks to Yuyo. Yuyo is focused on highlighting the diversity of Peruvian cuisine with menu options that include charcoal-grilled casual street food to elegantly prepared cebiches and seafood dishes. The majority of the furniture and decor was hand-picked in Peru or in South America, and helps to add to the restaurant’s vibrant ambiance.
Yuyo is owned and operated by the El Chile Group, who also own and manage Alcomar, El Alma, El Chile, and El Chilito.
“The idea for Yuyo stemmed from my passion for Peruvian cuisine, which was further developed during my time living in Lima, where I cooked in top kitchens and immersed myself fully in the culinary community. My goal was to open a restaurant that honors Peru’s indigenous ingredients and dishes, as well as the people who cultivate them.” — Yuyo Executive Chef Maribel Rivero
In Peru, “Yuyo” means seaweed, and typically indicates how fresh a fish is in the market. Peruvian food takes a lot of inspiration from Japanese and asian cuisine, so it’s no wonder to see even bao buns on the menu. The “tiradito Nikkei” is reminiscent of a Japanese sashimi mixed with citrus juices such as lime, lemon, and orange, which slowly cooks the fish. Their cebiche mixto is prepared in a similar manner, similar to Mexican ceviches.
For happy hour (4:40-6:30 daily), they serve a series of delicious cocktails, ranging from a rosé sangria to a pisco punch. Pisco is a popular spirit in South America, and makes for some delicious cocktails.
Some other menu highlights were their Yuquitas, essentially yucca croquettes filled with cheese, We also tried their chifles, which are plantain chips and blue potato chips served with an ají amarillo (yellow pepper) salsa. Another great option (and very common in Peru) is their causa, we tried the crab causa that is a potato purée with a crab filling, aji amarillo, and botija olive aioli, topped with micro celery.
We were mainly there for happy hour, but I’m looking forward to going back to Yuyo to try some of their heartier dishes. On my “to-try” list is their Lomo Saltado, which is a beef tenderloin stir-fry with soy-ají panca, red bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and it’s served with fries. Yuyo is open for happy hour and dinner service Monday through Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit yuyoaustin.com or follow Yuyo on social media.