I have to admit, it did feel a bit odd to be in Switzerland and not indulging in the whole fondue routine. But on a recent visit to Geneva, I swapped melted cheese for fusion Peruvian fare – and I’m glad I did. At convivial ethno-chic restaurant Alma, in the city’s vibrant Eaux-Vives neighbourhood, I had one of the most flavourful Latin-inspired meals I’ve ever eaten – and that includes those in South America.
I was initially won over by Alma's aesthetic; its laidback scheme of bentwood and colourful cushions set the scene for a fun evening out with friends. We began with some of the playful Latino, lime-infused cocktails (from SFr15, about £11.50) – a Mojito and a Pisco sour, both of which were particularly good –before sampling light, fresh plates of tiradito apaltado (about £19) – a spicy sashimi – and grilled octopus (pulpo anticuchero; about £28). Dishes are meant to be shared tapas-style and I was thrilled by everything I tried on Alma’s multi-culti menu. We steered clear of the meat-filled empanadas (about £13) and heaped bowls of guacamole with tortilla chips (about £9), opting instead for the vegetarian ceviche (about £16), an outstanding version of the traditional leche de tigre broth with bamboo shoots and palm heart ceviche, and a bountiful ensalada lima (about £12), full of quinoa, avocado, greens, sweetcorn and salty feta.
Zesty marinated chicken (about £22), complemented by a rocoto salsa and creamy coriander-infused yoghurt, was deemed universally excellent by our group, but it was the seabass (about £27) that was the winner for me, with its sides of pak choi and a bowl of simple white rice mixed with fresh ginger. Alfajores (about £8), a dessert of dulce de leche biscuits with rich ice cream, topped off the amiable Andean atmosphere and made me feel like I was in Lima.