Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Peruvian restaurant called Culantro is in the works in Ferndale

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 9:26 AM

click to enlarge Aji de Gaina. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Aji de Gaina.

A new Peruvian restaurant is coming together in the former Southern Belle Bistro space in Ferndale, and could be open in early April.

Culantro is a family operation partly run by Peruvian and Ecuadoran immigrants who will offer what they say is Michigan's only fully Peruvian restaurant.

Alvaro Herrera, whose family is opening the shop at 22939 Woodward, tells Metro Times that Ferndale is the ideal spot for a new style of eatery.

"Everybody here is receptive to new things, so Ferndale seemed like a good place for us to get started," he says. "I don't think there are any other Peruvian restaurants in Michigan."

When it opens, diners will get a taste of cuisine that Herrera describes as "similar to Cuban food with a lot of rices and meats. But what makes it a little more unique is a lot of our ingredients are sourced from Peru, so we’re going to plan on sticking to a lot of traditional food, but we'll also have newer contemporary takes on old dishes."

That means plates like aji amarillo, a chicken and rice composition driven by the slightly spicy, yellow-orange Peruvian chili pepper.
click to enlarge Seco de carne. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Seco de carne.

The menu will also feature mais morado, a purple corn that grows in the Andes, and culantro, which is a strong herb related to cilantro (though it tastes quite different) that's common in Peru.

Another specialty is the pollo a la brasa, a "grilled" chicken that's marinated for 24 hours with Peruvian spices before its roasted above charcoal in Culantro's charcoal oven.

Herrera notes that Peru holds a sizable Japanese immigrant population, so you'll find that nation's prints in some Peruvian cuisine, especially in fish dishes. Culantro will offer a fried rice dish that Herrera says seems like it belongs in southeast Asia, but is actually common in Peru.

The menu will also hold different sandwiches, salads, and more, and Herrera notes that everything will be made from scratch in house.

He adds that his mom, Betty Shuell, will run the restaurant, but he's also working there with his step sister and dad, Ashley and John Shuell. Betty Shuell worked in kitchens in Ecuador before moving to the U.S. around 17 years ago, but this is the family's first restaurant since arriving.

click to enlarge Pan con chicharron and sweet potato fries. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Pan con chicharron and sweet potato fries.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Related Locations

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation