T – Lychee Infusion with Black Tea from Cusco
Nissei Cebiche – Rock Fish and Tuna, Crispy Corn, Limo Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Shoyu, Cilanto, Fried Squid, Leche de Tigre
Classic Gyoza – Classic Dumplings with Ground Shrimp and Pork, Spicy Ponzu Sauce
Chupe Tamale – Green Rice Tamale, Sauteed Shrimp, Creole Sauce, Chupe Reduction
Miso Ramen – Egg, Pork Belly, Aji
Snacks – Sushi Rice Cracker, Avocado, Trout Belly, Ponzu Gel / Regional Sausage, Roasted Banana, Sachatomate Emulsion, Crunchy Tapioca, Ponzu / Aji Negro Chawanmushi
Poda Cebiche – Sarandaja Cream, Mackerel, Shallots, Limo Pepper, Chulpi Corn, Nikkei Leche de Tigre
Dim Sum – Squid, Octopus, Limpets Cau Cau, Camotillo Cream, Crispy White Quinoa
Chicharron Sandwich – Steamed Buns, Pork Belly, Kimchee Emulsion, Creole Sauce
Sea Nigiri – Toro with Mustard Seed and Torikara Sauce, Scallops with Sea Urchin Cream and Negi
Lapas Cebiche – Chulpi Corn, Lapas, Avocado, Aji Amarillo Leche de Tigre
Cuy San – Guinea Pig, Cauliflower Cream, Garlic and Rocoto Cream, Torikara Sauce, Pachacamac Greens
Gindara Misoyaki – Cod marinated in Miso, crispy Bahuaja Nuts, Apple Gel, Porcon Mushroom Powder
Sudado – Grouper, Sudado Reduction, Three Seaweeds
Beef Short Rib 50 Hours – A5 Wagyu, Camotillo Pepper Cream, Crispy Rice, Cushuro, Purple Corn Powder, Black Garlic
Sea Urchin Rice – Chiclayo Rice, Atico Sea Urchins, Avocado Cream, Wan Yi, Baby Corn
Reef – Tofu Cheesecake Ice Cream, Bread Sand, Sweet Potato, Apple with Wakame, Camu Camu, Taperiba and Burgundy Grape Tapiocas, Soy Milk
Mussel – Granadilla with Mandarin Sorbet, Mucilage Foam, Cacao Nibs, Lucuma Ice Cream, Raspberries
Currently ranked eighth on S. Pellegrino’s controversial list, a move ahead of Central to Number One on the recent Latin America rankings leading one to assume that a promotion is coming in 2018 (or that Central is on the decline,) it was for lunch on Sunday that two seats were taken at Maido’s counter, Chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura not present and service a bit sluggish while the Food was good, though not revelatory.
Self-described as “Fusion Cuisine,” the Japanese influence on Peruvian gastronomy dubbed Nikkei forming the backbone of a tasting menu served alongside several pages of a la carte options, guests arriving at Maido are encouraged to climb a staircase where each is greeted with “Maido,” the welcome coming from all directions including Chefs, servers and even guests seated below hanging ropes in the design of a Japanese flag when viewed as a whole.
Born in Lima and subsequently trained in both America and Japan, Tsumura’s return to Peru seeing him open Maido to little fanfare but subsequently building an empire extending all the way to Chile, it was after several minutes reviewing the menu that a decision was made to participate in the “Nikkei Experience” with supplements, Cocktails and Wine available but a drink named simply “T” proving a good fit to most plates.
A destination Restaurant that also features prominently in Miraflores power-lunch sector, Sunday reservations actually more accessible than those on Weekdays, it was after nearly thirty minutes of sitting and listening to countless Maidos that dining began with a collection of “Snacks,” the spicy Egg Custard most memorable while two types of Ceviche came after, the a la carte Nissei outperforming a Mackerel version served as part of the tasting largely on the strength of its fried elements.
Moving next to a trio of two-bite dishes, the Cephalopod and Snails bolstered by crispy Quinoa while Pork Belly Bao seemed somewhat ordinary despite being well executed, those looking for something more “Sushi” will be pleased to know Nigiri is offered both a la carte and as part of The Experience, the Toro decent but not as good as some while thinly Scallops atop lightly seasoned Rice proved that Peru also believes Uni, in this case emulsified and torched, can improve almost anything.
Receiving a latticed iteration of Gyoza with spicy Ponzu during a break in the tasting, each Dumpling nicely crafted and packed with ground Meat, it was for course six that Maido crossed over to Modernist Cuisine by way of frozen Ceviche featuring Clams, the follow-up offering crispy Guinea Pig Skin and Flesh stood upright in Cauliflower Puree awash in Garlic.
A traditional progression from light to heavy, Miso-glazed Cod given a facelift by way of Mushrooms and Apple faring well despite its familiarity, it was alongside the a la carte Rice Tamale with crispy Shrimp that course ten arrived in cast iron, the broth added tableside bubbling for the next several minutes and difficult to eat without burning one’s hand when spooning the Fish and Seaweed out of their vessel.
Convinced to order Ramen by a tablemate, the sizable bowl justifying its cost with silky Broth and plenty of springy Noodles plus Eggs and Pork Belly, it was as she slurped away that two additional plates rounded out savories, the 50-hour Short Rib taking diners in all directions from fatty to crispy and sweet to spicy while Rice cooked like Risotto with Uni and Avocado was a standout dish with immense depth of flavor and expected richness.
Continuing to embrace the landscape with Dessert, an a la carte menu never requested but two dishes concluding the Nikkei Experience, it was from the mind of Chef Dalila Arevalo that nitrogen-frozen “Bread Sand” was added to Tofu Ice Cream and textural elements, various Boba made from Amazonian Fruits refreshing the palate in preparation for a rock covered in foam that revealed a “Mussel” made of Chocolate atop a bed of Ice Cream and Sorbet made from indigenous Fruits.