Last year I posted a post on Aji Rocoto, a gourmet Peruvian restaurant, which opened in Cuenca in 2015. Due to the economic slow-down, and the closing of the airport for a couple of months in 2016; the tourist trade was hit hard, and so were many restaurants. Aji Rocoto became one of those casualties, as its chef and owner, Michael Wagner, closed the restaurant, and opened in a new location with a rethought dinner venue.
If you would like to read about Chef Michael, a graduate of Cordon Bleu Academy in Lima, Peru, and his culinary arts; here is the previous post:
Transformation Number One
Michael moved his location from El Centro to the south-side of the city. The transformation became a new restaurant, Aji Rocoto had transformed into La Cilindrada Restaurant, which is located at 3-47 Avenida Roberto Crespo (cross street from Luis Moreno Mora; next to the Honda Motorcycle dealership), approximately one block from the stadium.
Transformation Number Two
This transformation is a change in concept, as Michael now offers at reasonable prices a main-room restaurant of smoked and grilled meats, costillas, hamburgers, sandwiches quesadillas, and a daily executive amuerzo. In the evening, Michael also offers a daily dinner special as well to his regular menu items.
Having eaten lunch with friends at La Cilindrada, we all agreed that it is great food for casual-dining. Michael uses high quality meats, and flavors them only as Michael can do. The hamburger I ate was substantial and of high quality beef. No fill in this burger. Definitely, one of the best burgers in Cuenca. Even the fries are exceptional.
If, on the other hand, you are wondering, "but what about all those fantastical dishes Michael prepared at Aji Rocoto?" Do not fear, they are yours yet to enjoy, if you are willing to call Michael and reserve a seating in advance, and let him know what dishes you would like him to prepare. Chef Michael even has a private room that can handle a capacity of ten people.
To make reservations for Michael's gourmet meals, the La Cilindrada's telephone numbers are:
099-044-8248 or 099-946-6241
You can also email Michael at
If you are wondering, "but I don't recall the names of some of my favorite dishes", or "I never had the chance to savor Michael's Aji Rocoto's dinners", Michael can guide you through menu choices to your liking when you make your reservation.
Transformation Number Three
Michael very soon will be opening at La Cilindrada a covered-patio adjoining the restaurant where European-style breakfasts will be served. The photos of the dishes were mouth-watering. I envy anyone who lives anywhere in the vicinity of La Cilindrada. I would be eating there every day. I will share more with you shortly, when this concept restaurant is in full-swing. The patio will also include home-made condiments that can be purchased as well.
Transformation Number Four
Michael at some future date, hopefully this year, will also be opening a beer garden in the front of his restaurant that will serve crafted beers, and the specially-made treats and appetizers to go along with your crafted-beer choices as well.
Transformation Number Five
Eventually, Micheal intends to re-open Aji Rocoto on the second floor of La Cinlindrada, as he completes his various concept restaurants on-site. It will have a similar, upscale ambiance for those of you who enjoyed the original Aji Rocoto. Michael is as exceptionally creative and as passionate with his planning of his dining concepts and rooms, as he is with the aesthetic appeal of the tastes and appearance of his Aji Rocoto dishes.
Below is the link to La Cinlindrada's Facebook page, which will give you not only reviews, but photos of the dishes offered, and directions to the restaurant. The restaurant is currently open from noon until 4:00 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. Once the breakfast patio opens, hours will be extended from earlier in the morning, and the restaurant will remain open all day until 10:00 p.m.
Also, you can find on Facebook the latest on what Michael is offering in the way of planned evening dinners. For example, Michael had forty in attendance for a seafood paella dinner one evening, in which he prepared the paella and his guests were able to observe how the dish was grilled and prepared. Michael is planning another paella dinner evening in March as well. On Valentine Day, there are also two special dinner selections offered for the love-birds. All of these events are and will be announced on Facebook as they have or will be scheduled.