Writing this post makes me long to go to Pampa, one of my favourite restaurants in Perpignan again. The enthusiastic couple Elsa and Pablo decided to settle down in the deep South of France after having met in Buenos Aires. While she runs the kitchen, he manages the front of the house. Having read numerous positive feedback on the internet, they work their magic much to the delight of their customers, who come from far and wide.
Chéri and I were in Perpignan to visit the international photo festival ‘Visa pour l’Image’, which, of course, I planned just before lunchtime. As Chéri was getting hungry, I effortlessly directed him to a striking red building in the Rue de la Révolution Française that houses Pampa. Elegantly set tables stood on the little street in front of the restaurant, giving it that Mediterranean feeling. Here, Pablo warmly welcomed us, leaving Chéri kind of puzzled as to how on earth I knew my way around Perpignan so well. Well, he should know by now that La Ramoneta’s curiosity goes further than the Bitterois area of Béziers…
Elsa and her team draw inspiration from the local, and mostly organic, vegetables and fruits that are in season. Therefore, Pampa doesn’t have a menu and only serves a three-course set meal that changes every day. I love restaurants that have the confidence to do that, and Pampa does it with perfection. Mediterranean, Moroccan and South American flavours marry blissfully together in beautifully presented dishes. Chéri and I ordered the complete menu for 24 euros, starting with a delightful confit tomato soup, served with smoked eggplant and a burrata mousse. The lovely wine was served in good-sized glasses, as Pablo likes large glasses of wine. So do we.
The main course had two options, so we both picked one. This time it was me jealously looking at Chéri’s heartwarming dish originally from Réunion. I had a bite of his ‘Rougail Saucisse Combava’, and the sauce that accompanied these sausages was out of this world. However, I was happy with my choice as well, which was a beautiful piece of morue, or cod, that came with a delightful mix of herbs, sesame and sweet potato. The only option for dessert suited both of us, so we ended our meal with a fabulous clafoutis of grapes and rhubarb. It is places like Pampa that make you travel to flavour land. Locals and travellers alike, they all seek out this amazing restaurant!