Contrary to the other reviewers’ seemingly great experiences, ours was a bitter one. Granted, the food was okay and the place was clean. Everyone commented on how nice the manager was. We thought so as well until we got the check which turned out to be a total ripoff.
We got here at around 5:30 for an early dinner, just to find them cleaning up getting ready to close. A man I assume was the manager came out and said they were wiped out of food from a busy lunch session earlier. Still, he assured us he could rustle up something. We asked for the menu but were told there was none. Anyway, we went with it, not having a single moment of doubt. I mean, how expensive can a meal be in a Loving Hut? Let alone one in Puno in Peru? We were so wrong.
After some wait, he brought out two bowls of soup noodles (the instant kind), a plate of veggie saltado, and a platter of papa a la Huancaína. Very basic stuff. We also ordered a carrot juice, dessert, and some snacks to go. The total came to a whopping 144 soles! That’s US$50! (He simply told us the amount. No receipt or anything.) That was crazy expensive by Peruvian standards, but we just paid and left. It was after we went back to the hotel that we realized how ridiculous it was that we returned to confront him.
When questioned about the bill, he showed us a little memo that he scribbled on:
Soups - 14
Juice - 7
Two main plates - 25 each
Cakes - 7
Snacks - 20
The main plates were way overpriced for what they were; the rest were fair. But then there was another 20 on the paper that, according to him, was an additional charge for the “great lengths” that the kitchen to serve us. What a crock! Well, he should’ve been upfront about it from the get-go, but he mentioned nothing. Heck, say I gave him that, the total should be 118, nowhere near 144. Apologizing, he said he must have “somehow” doubled the surcharge. Even so, it should’ve been 138. What about the other 6 soles? He was so FOS and couldn’t even justify his own math. In the end, we managed to get the 26 soles back, gave up on the surcharge and the overpriced items, and left.
This dinner ended up being—unrightfully so—the priciest meal we had during our two weeks in Peru. Insane, I know. It wasn’t so much about the miscalculations (maybe math just wasn’t his thing) as it was about the arbitrary charge that he added to our bill. There was another couple dining there that evening, and the manager casually told us he charged them the same. I felt bad for them.