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Central: Is This the Most Unique Tasting Menu in the World?

Central

  • When: September 2017
  • Male DINK Rating: 12/15
  • Female DINK Rating: 13/15
  • Total Cost: $428; Food Cost: $315

THE MOST exclusive, MOST difficult to reserve, MOST-acclaimed restaurant in Peru, Central was the most important reservation for us to book when we decided to go to Lima. Refreshing the reservation page at 11:58pm (the block of reservations for a certain time period go on sale at midnight), we saw the reservations open up and were able to secure a table for 7 p.m. on a Monday night. After speaking with a few fellow travelers throughout our trip, we didn’t realize how lucky we were to get a table. Perhaps the early refresh and choosing a Monday were the keys to our success.

Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Waiting in line for Central to open

We arrived a few minutes early to a line of eager diners waiting outside the door. A few minutes past 7 p.m., the door opened, and we were shown to our tables in turn. We were lucky to be seated at a table next to the floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the kitchen, having a front-row seat to dinner service throughout our meal. As we sat down at our table, the kitchen staff was having a meeting to go over service. We saw Virgilio’s wife, Pia, leading the meeting and seemed to be providing some words of encouragement as the staff was smiling and and interacting enthusiastically.

Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Pre-dinner meeting led by Pia Leon

We perused the menu and ordered drinks. Female DINK had the Central Pisco Sour and Male DINK decided to order a glass of wine. While we waited for our drinks, we looked over the menu we would be served that night. The menu at Central is called “Mater Elevations,” and the dishes are all composed of ingredients from a certain elevation in Peru. A unique take on a tasting menu theme, it proved to be one of the more interesting meals we’ve had. Note there is also a vegetarian version of the menu, as well as a condensed, shorter version of the menu, available.

Central Pisco Sour Cocktails Drinks Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Central Pisco Sour
Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Central Mater Elevations Tasting Menu

As we waited for the first course to arrive, we took a look around the dining room where tables were filling up quickly.  We also watched the kitchen staff prepare the first dishes and noticed there was a flourishing garden above the kitchen.

Rooftop Garden Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
The garden atop the kitchen at Central
Dining Room Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Dining room at Central

Rock Molluscs” – sea snail, mussel, sargassum, limpet (-10 M). The snail & mussel combination (limpet is another type of snail) was in a separate container from its accompaniment –  a seaweed “chip” or “cracker” (sargassum is a type of seaweed). We were instructed to spread the snail & mussels atop the seaweed cracker. The crispy cracker was the perfect complement to the snail and mussel texture. Surprisingly edible.

Rock Molluscs Sea Snails Mussel Sargassum Limpet Seafood Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Rock Molluscs: Sea Snail, Mussel, Sargassum, Limpet – (-10) Meters

While we waited for the next course, we noticed that Virgilio was in the kitchen. Surprised (and fortunate) to see the popular and busy chef in the kitchen, we snapped a photo and watched him and his wife work.

Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Chefs Virgilio Martinez & Pia Leon working in the kitchen

Desert Plants” – huarango, cactus, sweet potato leaf, loche (180 M). Three different bites arrived on different platings – and all were quite good. The crispy sweet potato leaf was packed with flavor and had a nice saltiness, the frosty pink bite was tuna and cactus and was very tasty, but the best bite was the finely-shredded, crispy fried potato – delicious!

Desert Plants Huarango Cactus Sweet Potato Leaf Loche Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Desert Plants: Huarango, Cactus, Sweet Potato Leaf, Loche – 180 Meters
Desert Plants Huarango Cactus Sweet Potato Leaf LocheCentral Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Desert Plants: Cactus – 180 Meters
Desert Plants Huarango Cactus Sweet Potato Leaf Loche Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Desert Plants: Shredded Sweet Potato Ball – 180 Meters
Desert Plants Huarango Cactus Sweet Potato Leaf Loche Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Desert Plants: Leaf – 180 Meters

Lofty Andes” – potato, tree tomato, alpaca, muna mint (3500 M). A single potato cooked in ashes served with an exquisite dipping sauce. The potato was warm and calming, while the dipping sauce was bright and flavorful consisting of tree tomato, cream, muna mint, and alpaca hearts. The potatoes were outstanding for simply being a potato.

Lofty Andes Potato Tree Tomato Alpaca Muna Mint Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Lofty Andes: Potato – 3500 Meters
Lofty Andes Dipping Sauce Potato Tree Tomato Alpaca Muna Mint Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Lofty Andes: Dipping Sauce – 3500 Meters

Thick Stems” – olluco, chincho, onion, field mustard (3500 M). Two bites for this course – more, but very different, potatoes (olluco), as well as a straw-like roll filled with mousse. Again, great potatoes. It was interesting how different each type of potato could be from one another. The crispy roll was filled with a sweet, onion mousse that was very good. Additionally, there was a cup of savory liquid to drink served with this course – not sure what I’m drinking, but it is pleasant.

Thick Stems Olluco Chincho Onion Field Mustard Tubers Potatoes Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Thick Stems: Olluco, Chincho, Onion, Field Mustard – 3500 Meters
Thick Stems Olluco Tuber Potatoes Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Thick Stems: Olluco – 3500 Meters
Thick Stems Fried Onion Roll Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Thick Stems: Fried Onion Roll – 3500 Meters
Thick Stems Cup Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Thick Stems: Cup of Liquid – 3500 Meters

Waters of Nanay” – piranhas, cocona, achiote, huampo bark (680 M). Watch out for the teeth on this course! Just kidding…the edible part of this course is an orange crispy strip with piranha and dots of sauce. Quite salty, the strips didn’t have a lot of other flavors coming through. There was also a separate serving of piranha meat wrapped inside of a leaf. Definitely a wow factor presentation that left a little more to be desired on the actual flavor.

Waters of Nanay Piranhas Cocona Achiote Huampo Bark Fish Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Waters of Nanay: Piranhas, Cocona, Achiote, Huampo Bark – 680 Meters
Waters of Nanay Piranha Skin Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Waters of Nanay: Piranha Crisps – 680 Meters
Waters of Nanay Piranha Chunks in Leaf Fish Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Waters of Nanay: Piranha Chunks in Leaf – 680 Meters

Forest Cotton” – churo, gamitana, pacae, llanten (300 M). There were three parts to this dish – a slightly sweet, fruity “cotton,” a leafy roll, and a cup of mysterious contents. The cotton was light and refreshing, the roll was a llanten leaf filled with snails, and the cup was filled with an Amazonian extract that tasted savory.

Forest Cotton Churo Gamitana Pacae LLanten Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Forest Cotton: Churo, Gamitana, Pacae, LLanten – 300 Meters
Forest Cotton Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Forest Cotton: – 300 Meters
Forest Cotton Churo Roll Snails Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Forest Cotton: Churo Roll – 300 Meters
Forest Cotton Drink Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Forest Cotton: Drink – 300 Meters

High Jungle” – macambo, cassava, copoazu, air potato (2800 M). This appeared to be the bread course. Three types of bread (an airy, crispy chip, a small cassava bread, and a larger piece of fluffy cacao bread) with two types of spread (copoazu sauce and herb butter). We didn’t indulge too much on the large piece of bread because we had a long way to go in the menu, but we tried the others as well as the different spreads. The copoazu sauce was very good.

High Jungle Macambo Cassava Copoazu Air Potato Bread Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
High Jungle: Macambo, Cassava, Copoazu, Air Potato – 2800 Meters
High Jungle Coca Bread Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
High Jungle: Coca Bread – 2800 Meters
High Jungle Cassava Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
High Jungle: Cassava – 2800 Meters
High Jungle Air Potato Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
High Jungle: Air Potato – 2800 Meters

Marine Soil” – sea urchin, pepino melon, razor clam, seaweed (0 M). Alas, a course with only one dish! A very unique combination, the razor clam was hiding in the ribbons of melon and seaweed. The large pieces of uni were a welcome addition. A very fresh and sea-focused course.

Marine Soil Sea Urchin Pepino Melon Razor Clam Seaweed 0 Meters Seafood Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Marine Soil: Sea Urchin, Pepino Melon, Razor Clam, Seaweed – 0 Meters

Tree Skins” – avocado, huacatay, kanihua, macre (1200 M). A presentation of crisps, leaves, and flowers arrived. The crispy squash (Macre), avocado cream, crunchy quinoa (kanihua), and huacatay all complemented each other well both in flavor and texture.

Tree Skins Avocado Huacatay Kanihua Macre Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Tree Skins: Avocado, Huacatay, Kanihua, Macre – 1200 Meters

Land of Corn” – kculli, purple, chulpi, piscorunto (2010 M). Beautiful colors of corn crisps served atop deep fried corn balls. All sorts of corn, and all sorts of goodness. Who knew corn could be THIS good? One of our favorite dishes of the night, this was packed with intense flavor.

Land of Corn Kculli Purple Chulpi Piscorunto Vegetables Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Land of Corn: Kculli, Purple, Chulpi, Piscorunto – 2010 Meters

Colors of Amazonia” – paiche, yacon, bellaco, lemongrass (450 M). A wonderfully colorful dish, the pink ribbons are paiche – a fish from the Amazon river that can grow to be 10 feet long! The paiche was served atop the yacon, bellaco, and lemongrass. Beautiful, but a little strange.

Colors of Amazonia Paiche Yacon Bellaco Lemongrass Fish Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Colors of Amazonia: Paiche, Yacon, Bellaco, Lemongrass – 450 Meters

Coastal Harvest” – scallops, yellow chili pepper, borage, tumbo (20 M). Colorfully dusted crisps sat in tumbo sauce. The scallop crisp adorned with yellow chili pepper and borage was a very tasty combination. The spice of the chili pepper coupled with the sweeter flavors of the borage and tumbo sauce were a great juxtaposition to complement the scallop flavor. A really good dish.

Coastal Harvest Scallops Yellow Chili Pepper Borage Tumbo Fish Main Course Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Coastal Harvest: Scallops, Yellow Chili Pepper, Borage, Tumbo – 20 Meters

Sea Coral” – octopus, crab, squid, sea lettuce (-10 M). That is a lot of seafood in one dish! Octopus can hit or miss depending on the texture, but this was a hit and was prepared very well. We were a bit nervous about all of the “sea” in this dish, but it was surprisingly good.

Sea Coral Octopus Crab Squid Sea Lettuce Seafood Main Course Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Sea Coral: Octopus, Crab, Squid, Sea Lettuce – (-10) Meters

Low Andes Mountains” – pork, black mashwa, panca chili pepper, kiwicha (1800 M). Thought: Oh good, a meat course after all of that seafood! This was the last savory course and was beautifully presented. The pork was well-prepared and was enhanced by the supporting ingredients of spice, potato, and quinoa. Lots of flavors and lots of textures to round out this delicious meat course.

Low Andes Mountains Pork Black Mashwa Panca Chili Pepper Kiwicha Meat Main Course Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Low Andes Mountains: Pork, Black Mashwa, Panca Chili Pepper, Kiwicha – 1800 Meters

Humid Green” – caigua, cushuro, sweet lemon, chaco clay (3700 M). Definitely some different ingredients in this first dessert, we struggled a bit with the algae balls (which you can see Virgilio picking one by one in the Chef’s Table episode on Netflix). However, the sweet lemon was a nice flavor and the sorbet a welcome familiarity. The other strange ingredient was chaco clay, yes, actual clay. A bit challenging for a dessert, but a unique experience indeed.

Humid Green Caigua Cushuro Sweet Lemon Chaco Clay Dessert Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Humid Green: Caigua, Cushuro, Sweet Lemon, Chaco Clay – 3700 Meters

Amazonian White” – cacao, chirimoya, bahuaja nut, taperiba (400 M). The second dessert brought more familiar flavors, including chocolate. This dessert combined chocolate mouse with fruit and shaved nuts. Quite a concoction, we enjoyed the contrasting flavors of this dessert.

Amazonian White Cacao Chirimoya Bahuaja Nut Taperiba Dessert Chocolate Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Amazonian White: Cacao, Chirimoya, Bahuaja Nut, Taperiba – 400 Meters

Medicinals and Plant Dyes” – congona, matico, malva, pilipili (3050 M). We have finally reached the last course, which had a name that made us a bit weary. We were served two bites (a chocolate crisp and a piece of cake) as well as a green substance in a cup. The chocolate crisp was really good, and was dusted with matico and pilipili, which were both peppery. The piece of cake didn’t have a lot of flavor (or maybe we were distracted by the green liquid). The cup was filled with an herbal, medicinal concoction that was honestly difficult to drink. We can be sure it is a rare ingredient and can appreciate its inclusion on the menu, but this was a rather low note to end on. We couldn’t finish drinking it.

Medicinals and Plant Dyes Congona Matico Malva Pilipili Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Medicinals and Plant Dyes: Congona, Matico, Malva, Pilipili – 3050 Meters
Medicinals and Plant Dyes Congona Mango Malva Pilipili Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Medicinals and Plant Dyes: Chocolate Crisp & Cake – 3050 Meters
Medicinal and Plant Dyes 3050M Congona Matico Malva Pilipili Central Restaurant Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Chef Pia Leon Chef Virgilio Martinez Netflix Chef's Table Fine Dining Dinner Tastig Menu Foodie Restaurant Review South America Peruvian Food
Medicinals and Plant Dyes: Green Liquid – 3050 Meters

Summarizing our experience, eating at Central was one of the most unique menus we have ever tasted. The ingredients were truly Peruvian, and the courses provided a great appreciation for the diversity of the country. We can honestly say that you will not have similar food anywhere else. That alone makes this a worthwhile culinary journey; however, the food was also very good (besides the herbal drink at the end) and very artistic. If you haven’t seen the Chef’s Table episode about Central and Virgilio Martinez, it is a worthwhile episode to appreciate the story behind Central and what Virgilio (and his wife and sister) put into the restaurant. We would definitely recommend trying Central if you are able to make a reservation – it is a special place.

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Astrid y Gaston: The Original Peruvian Fine Dining Chef Still Has It

Astrid y Gaston

  • When: September 2017
  • Male DINK Rating: 13/15
  • Female DINK Rating: 13/15
  • Total Cost: $336; Food Cost: $260

Astrid y Gaston was high on our list of restaurants to dine at while in Peru. Chef Gaston Acurio essentially put Peruvian food on the map for high-end dining. As a staple in the Lima restaurant scene, and consistently ranked among Latin America’s best restaurants, we were excited to experience the food that started it all.

Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Exterior Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining
Astrid y Gaston Exterior

We booked a lunch reservation because it fit best with our plans – and the tasting menu is offered for both lunch and dinner, which is a plus. We arrived (via Uber) at the beautiful, hacienda-like building and were shown to a light and airy atrium where the busy kitchen was on display. This was a perfect setting for lunch, and we enjoyed our table next to the kitchen window. As we had the earliest reservation, there were only a few people seated, but the room continued to fill up as the meal progressed.

Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Dining Room Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Luxury Dining
Astrid y Gaston Dining Room

We were given both the a la carte menu and the tasting menu to peruse and consider, although we already knew we would be ordering the tasting menu. After reading what we’d be in store for with the tasting menu, we ordered drinks and the tasting menu for Winter 2017, affectionately called “Lima Love.”

Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Menu Picture
Lima Love Tasting Menu at Astrid y Gaston

Drinks arrived a short time before our meal began. Female DINK had the Pisco Tonic with Mango and Chamomile Tarontel, which was surprisingly smooth and calming. Male DINK had one of the chilcano drinks, which was also quite good.

Pisco Tonic Tarontel Mango Chamomile Drink Cocktail Apertif Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
Pisco Tonic – Tarontel with Mango & Chamomile

The first course arrived – “the indecent bed, the forbidden love” – Fishermen empanada, stuffed blue potato with lamb, sea urchin toast. A sample of three bites laying atop a dish shaped like a bed.  All of the bites were very good. The tasty empanada was filled with clam & cau-cau juice, the savory potato and lamb was quite a flavorful combination, and the sea urchin toast had a nice helping of uni. Interesting and delicious start.

The indecent bed the forbidden love Fishermen empanada stuffed blue potato with lamb sea urchin toast snacks amuse bouches appetizers Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
The indecent bed, the forbidden love – Fishermen empanada, stuffed blue potato with lamb, sea urchin toast

Next up was “from the freezing waters of the Pacific” – bay scallop and apple. This course arrived in a shell with a frozen gratin on top. We weren’t particularly excited about another bay scallop dish (we had bay scallop at Maido the night before), as we don’t tend to like bay scallops all that much, but this proved us wrong (as did the Maido nigiri). The bay scallop and apple flavors fused nicely, and the cold, icy gratin brought a fun element to the dish.

From the freezing waters of the Pacific Bay Scallop and Apple Seafood Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From the freezing waters of the Pacific – Bay scallop and apple

The third course was “from the city that carries cebiche on its heart” – cebiche of all bloods. First thought: I bet those huge chunks of fish are pretty good. I was right…this was a very good cebiche course, made with sea-bass. The fish was accompanied by onions, sweet potato, corn, red pepper, and a spicy red sauce. So fresh, and so good. Wonderful.

From the city that carries cebiche on its heart Cebiche of all bloods seafood fish corn Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From the city that carries cebiche on its heart – Cebiche of all bloods

What followed was one of our favorite courses of the meal – “from this Lima that falls in love with everyone” – tiradito Lima – Bangkok. Another fish course, this time made with a creamy coconut sauce as well as tiger’s milk, chili peppers, avocado, and edible flowers. The coconut was an incredibly delicious touch to this dish. Everything went together so well – a great combination of Peruvian & Asian cuisine.

From this Lima that falls in love with everyone Tiradito Lima Bangkok Coconut Seafood Fish Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From this Lima that falls in love with everyone – Tiradito Lima – Bangkok

Bread (not on the menu) arrived after the tiradito, consisting of four colorful breads (salted bread, corn bread, purple corn & golden berry, and potato & cheese), as well as three different types of butter (Maras salt, avocado and peppers, and smoked tomato). We usually pass on bread to save room for all of the other courses, but we definitely had to try at least a bit of everything because these looked so colorful and interesting! The corn muffin stood out with its intense corn flavor (welcome to Peru!), as well as the unique purple corn and berry bread. The potato and cheese was very good as well with slices of potato baked into it. The butter was superb and delicate. You must try at least a little of each bread!

Bread butter Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
Bread with different butters

Back to the tasting menu, the next course was “from our Cantonese heritage, the chifa” – Cuy pekin. This was our first taste of cuy, also known as guinea pig. Presented in a purple corn crepe, this dish was to be enjoyed Pekin-style. The guinea pig was accompanied by turnips, chili peppers, and hoisin sauce. All of the ingredients were quite flavorful, and to be honest, we didn’t really taste the guinea pig very much. Whether or not that is a good thing, we would have liked to know what it tasted like a bit more. Nonetheless, the flavors of the course were quite good.

From our Cantonese heritage the chifa Cuy Pekin Guinea Pig Main Course Meat Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From our Cantonese heritage, the chifa – Cuy pekin

The sixth course was “from Peru embracing Venezuela libre” – arepa, suckling pig, winter fruit and ocopa. A small arepa was filled with minced pork, quince, ocopa, and a red-pepper sauce. A traditional Venezuelan snack, the pork was cooked very well, and the bread “shell” was very good, with a nice amount of butter and sear. The fruit provided a welcome sweetness to the savory and spice of the other ingredients.

From Peru embracing Venezuela Libre Arepa Suckling Pig Winter Fruit and Ocopa Main Course Meat Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From Peru embracing Venezuela Libre – Arepa, suckling pig, winter fruit and ocopa

Arriving next was “From our Okinawan heritage, the nikkei cuisine” – Sancochao dumpling and pepian. After dining at Maido the night before, we were interested to see Gaston’s take on nikkei cuisine. A scrumptious dumpling was topped with seaweed, herbs, and a chili pepper set over pepian – a vegetable based sauce. This dish was wonderful, with a nice bit of spice.

From our Okinawan heritage the Nikkei cuisine Sancochao dumpling and pepian main course asian food Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From our Okinawan heritage, the nikkei cuisine – Sancochao dumpling and pepian

What followed was “from the home kitchen of the mama limena” – the shy egg, hidden in a yellow chupe. A boiled egg sat in sea bass chupe with fava beans, peas, and cheese. A warm, calming dish with just enough vegetables to provide a bit of texture.

From the home kitchen of the mama limena the shy egg hidden in a yellow chupe main course Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From the home kitchen of the mama limena – The shy egg, hidden in a yellow chupe

Next was “from the infinite possibility of our biodiversity” – scallops and lucuma. More scallops, but this time Diver scallops, which are normally more to our liking. The scallops were accompanied by Parmesan cheese, pesto cream, and cocona sauce (an Amazonian fruit) topped with almonds. The scallops were cooked well, and the unusual flavor combinations actually went together pretty well. A very unique and interesting course.

From the infinite possibility of our biodiversity Scallops and Lucuma Main Course Seafood Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From the infinite possibility of our biodiversity – Scallops and lucuma

The tenth course was “about a united Latin America, without frontiers, sharing” – deep-sea fish, parihuela juice with mole season, green tortillas; to make fish tacos. Made with grouper, this course arrived with green tortillas to make your own tacos. The grouper was sitting atop the mole sauce and the parihuela juice (a Peruvian seafood juice) had been poured over everything. There were also cubes of cheese, some tomato chunks, chili pepper, and herbs. The flavors were great, although it was a bit difficult to actually make the tacos.

About a untied Latin America, without frontiers, sharing Deep-sea Fish Parihueta Juice with Mole Season Green Tortillas to make fish tacos seafood Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
About a united Latin America, without frontiers, sharing – Deep-sea fish, parihueta juice with mole seasons, green tortillas; to make fish tacos

Moving on to meat courses, the next dish was “from this Lima with no walls that welcomes all with affection” – rabbit in Lima curry, quinua jasmine. We had some wonderful rabbit stew in Brussels several years ago and have always looked forward to rabbit dishes since that meal. This course had both a piece of rabbit meat as well as a piece of rabbit sausage covered in the curry sauce, along with some herbs and a chili pepper. There was also a side of jasmine quinoa. Again, wonderful flavors abound, but the standout was the rabbit sausage, which was simply divine.

From this Lima with no walls that welcomes all with affection Rabbit in Lima curry Quinua jasmine Main course Meat Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From this Lima with no walls that welcomes all with affection – Rabbit in Lima curry, quinua jasmine

The final savory course was next – “from that Lima cuisine of all bloods, all corners, all flavors” – roast short rib stew and his faithful companion: chaufa rice. The short rib was tender, and the accompanying pieces of lettuce were a nice touch. There was also a side of what tasted like fried rice. Perhaps the best part of this dish, though, was the luxurious squash cream that complemented the other ingredients.

From that Lima cuisine of all bloods, all corners, all flavors Roast short rib stew and his faithful companion chaufa rice main course meat Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From that Lima cuisine of all bloods, all corners, all flavors – Roast short rib stew and his faithful companion: Chaufa rice
From that Lima cuisine of all bloods, all corners, all flavors Roast Short Rib Stew and his Faitful Companion Chaufa Rice Main Course Meat Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From that Lima cuisine of all bloods, all corners, all flavors – Roast short rib stew and his faithful companion: chaufa rice

The first dessert was next – “the kitchen that follows the seasons” – happy chirimoya. The Peruvian fruit appeared in this cool and refreshing palate cleanser. A light and delicate first dessert that wasn’t too overpowering.

The kitchen that follows the seasons Happy Chirimoya Dessert Course Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
The kitchen that follows the seasons – Happy Chirimoya

The second dessert was “from our trujillana grandmother” – northern cone. Although this is the menu description, we did not have a cone.  Arriving on a corn husk, this dessert had manjar blanco, cinnamon ice cream, red fruit, a caramel-like frozen gratin, and port sauce.  Sweet and delicious, yet not too heavy.

From our trujillana grandmother Northern Cone Dessert Course Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
From our trujillana grandmother – Northern cone

The last dessert on the menu was “peace farming” – noble chocolate from Peru. Crispy carrot rolls filled with chocolate mousse – a fun and tasty end to the menu.

Peace Farming Noble Chocolate from Peru Dessert Course Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Lima Love Tasting Menu Luxury Dining Food Picture
Peace Farming – Noble chocolate from Peru

But wait, there was so much more chocolate! Along with an offer of coffee, etc. (which we declined), came out a massive box full of different chocolates. The waitress described each and every one of the chocolates, to which we each selected a few to try. This was an overwhelming assortment, but it was also unique and heavenly. We ate our morsels of goodness to end the meal.

Box of Chocolates Dessert Truffles Astrid Y Gaston Restaurant Chef Gaston Acurio Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Lunch Luxury Dining Food Picture
Box of chocolates at end of meal

While not always thought of as on the same level as Central or Maido, Astrid y Gaston far surpassed our expectations. The food was beautiful, unique, and most importantly, delicious! The service could perhaps use a little improvement, but this was lunch, and everyone was still very friendly and welcoming. The tasting menu was superb, the ingredients fresh, and the price was quite affordable given the quality of the meal. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and would highly recommend dining here if you are in the area.

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Maido: World-Renowned Nikkei Cuisine in Lima, Peru

Maido

  • When: September 2017
  • Male DINK Rating: 11/15
  • Female DINK Rating: 12/15
  • Total Cost: $392; Food Cost: $256

We were surprised that one of the best restaurants in the world (#1 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 and #8 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017), located in Peru’s capital city of Lima, is essentially a Japanese fusion restaurant. Now, admittedly, that is an over-generalization; it’s actually billed as “Nikkei cuisine,” which is oftentimes mislabeled as “fusion.”

Maido Restaurant Exterior Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review
World’s 50 Best Restaurants plaque at Maido entrance

Maido was our first of three dinners at restaurants ranked on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Lima (we also dined at Astrid & Gaston and Central). Booking was online, where we also chose which type of meal we would like (please note: only so many “Nikkei Experience” seats are available, so book early). We arrived at the restaurant and were seated at the counter in the dining room, which was the only reservation available for the Nikkei Experience at the time of our booking. To be honest, we preferred these seats anyway, as we had a great view of the food prep throughout our meal.

Counter Seats View Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
View from Counter Seats at Maido
Dining Room Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Maido Dining Room

Once seated, we perused the drink menu and ordered a pre-dinner drink while we waited for our tasting menu to begin. Male DINK ordered the beverage pairing to go with the tasting menu, while Female DINK just tried a few sips of his drinks.

Chilcano Moscatel Pisco Peach Vanilla Drink Cocktail Apertif Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Chilcano – Moscatel, Peach, Vanilla

The Nikkei Experience started off with some Snacks that were beautifully presented: Seaweed tempura, sweet potato area, squid in fermented beetroot, and lime gel. Sushi rice cracker, avocado, trout belly, and ponzu gel. Aji negro chawanmushi. The beverage pairing was a sake, Taisetsu Junmai Ginjo. The first snack was very good and showed the Nikkei cuisine right away. The Japanese influence from the seaweed and the Peruvian influence from the sweet potato was a unique, but delicious, combination. The Sushi rice cracker was a nice and crunchy contrast to the avocado and trout belly. We finished with the Aji negro chawanmushi, providing a nice calm ending to the snacks.

Snacks Seaweed Tempura Sweet Potato Cream Squid in Fermented Beetroot Lime Gel Sushi Rice Cracker Avocado Trout Belly Ponzu Gel Aji Negro Chawanmushi Appetizers Small Bites Amuse Bouches Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Snacks – (1) Seaweed tempura, sweet potato cream, squid in fermented beetroot, lime gel (2) Sushi rice cracker, avocado, trout belly, ponzu gel (3) Aji negro chawanmushi

The next course was the colorful Poda Cebiche: Sarandaja cream, mackerel, shallots, limo pepper, chulpi corn, and nikkei leche de tigre. The beverage pairing was a Peruvian beer, Candelaria Moche Loche. No menu in Lima would be complete without some cebiche! This was a delicious course packed with flavor. We were glad to see cebiche incorporated into the Nikkei Experience.

Poda Cebiche Main Course Sarandaja Cream Mackerel Shallots Limo Pepper Chulpi Corn Nikkei Leche de Tigre Seafood Fish Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Poda Cebiche – Sarandaja cream, mackerel, shallots, limo pepper, chulpi corn, nikkei leche de tigre

Changing gears a bit, the following course was Dim Sum: Squid and sea snail cau cau, camarillo cream, and crispy white quinoa. The beverage pairing was Stella Flora 2012. A unique take on Dim Sum (which we love), the noodle was black from the squid ink, set atop the camarillo cream and sprinkled with quinoa. A different, but tasty,  bite.

Dim Sum Main Course Squid and Sea Snail Cau Cau, Camotillo Cream Crispy White Quinoa Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Dim Sum – Squid and sea snail cau cau, camatillo cream, crispy white quinoa

Next up was Choripan: Steamed bread, fish and octopus sausage, pickled vegetables, Japanese mustard, native potatoes. The beverage pairing was another Peruvian beer, Candelaria Witbier. First thought, this looks very similar to the hot dog emoji course we had at Gaggan earlier this year. A little difficult to eat, this course seemed a bit off from the rest of the menu and wasn’t our favorite.

Choripan Main Course Steamed Bread Fish and Octopus Sausage Pickled Vegetables Japanese Mustard Native Potatoes Hot Dog Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Choripan – Steamed bread, fish and octopus sausage, pickled vegetables, Japanese mustard, native potatoes

Our favorite course of the night was next, Nigiris: Toro with yuzu-infused quail egg, along with a bay scallop nigiri. The beverage pairing was Chateau Gassier Cuvee 946 Rose 2016. We’ve had some incredible sushi in Tokyo (especially at 2 Michelin-starred Harutaka), and this course lived up to that quality. Toro is always delicious, but adding the yuzu-infused quail egg made it a true standout dish. We aren’t typically big fans of bay scallops, but this nigiri was very good, and we were surprised to like it.

Nigiris Toro Yuzu Infused Quail Egg Sushi Seafood Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Nigiris – Toro with Yuzu Infused Quail Egg
Nigiris Scallops Sushi Seafood Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Nigiris – Bay Scallops

Moving on, another cebiche arrived, Lapas Cebiche: Chulpi corn, lapas, avocado, and aji Amarillo leche de tigre. The beverage pairing was Bacon Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014. Interestingly, the aji Amarillo leche de tigre was served frozen, but continued to melt (quickly) as we ate, resulting in losing the fun frozen texture midway through the course. We were also a little surprised to have another (admittedly, different), cebiche on the menu.

Lapas Cebiche Main Course Chulpi Corn Lapas Avocado Aji Amarillo Leche de Tigre Seafood Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Lapas Cebiche – Chulpi corn, lapas, avocado, aji Amarillo leche de tigre

The next course was Catacaos de Camarones: Green rice tamale, sautéed river prawns, creole sauce, and chupe reduction. The beverage pairing was Manzone Rossese Bianco 2014. This was not our favorite course. The texture of the green rice tamale was very sticky, and the sauce had a strong flavor, which we didn’t particularly like.

Catacaos de Camarones Main Course Green Rice Tamale Sauteed River Prawns Creole Sauce Chupe Reduction Seafood Shrimp Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Catacaos de Camarones – Green rice tamale, sautéed river prawns, creole sauce, chupe reduction

The following course was Cassava Soba: Cassava soba, tenkatsu, and vongole dashi. The beverage pairing was Casar de Burbia Godello 2015. Served cold, this was definitely a Japanese-influenced course. This course was just okay, but that is probably because we aren’t really soba people.

Cassava Soba Main Course Cassava Soba Tenkatsu Vongole Dash Noodles Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Cassava Soba – Cassava soba, tenkatsu, vongole dashi

Next up was Sudado: Catch of the day, sudado reduction, and seaweed. The beverage pairing was Emma Bonarda 2014. Getting back on track, we enjoyed this course, where the broth was poured table-side.  Lots of flavor and very fresh fish.

Sudado Main Course Catch of the Day Sudado Reduction Seaweed Seafood Fish Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Sudado – Catch of the day, sudado reduction, seaweed

And now for the meat course, Beef Short Rib 50 Hours: Camotillo potato cream, crispy rice, cushuro, purple corn powder, and black garlic. The beverage pairing was Follia IGT 2014. Giving the Nigiri a run for its money as our favorite course, the beef short rib melted in our mouths. The potato cream was delicious, and the other ingredients all found a perfect place in this wonderful course.

Beef Short Rib 50 Hours Main Course Camotillo Potato Cream Crispy Rice Coshuro Purple Corn Powder Black Garlic Meet Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Beef Short Rib 50 Hours – Camotillo potato cream, crispy rice, coshuro, purple corn powder, black garlic

The final savory course was Sea Urchin Rice: Chiclayo rice, Atico sea urchins, avocado cream, wan yi, and baby corn. We had a sea urchin rice course earlier this year at Quay in Sydney, in which the sea urchin flavor was quite hidden, so we were hoping for a better experience with this dish. Right away, we could tell this would be more enjoyable, as the course arrived with a large portion of sea urchin sitting atop the other ingredients. The rice was a thick, risotto-like texture and was full of flavor. A very rich, but very good, course.

Sea Urchin Rice Main Course Chiclayo Rice Atico sea urchins avocado cream wan yi baby corn seafood Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Sea Urchin Rice – Chiclayo rice, Atico sea urchins, avocado cream, wan yi, baby corn

The first dessert course was next, Reef: Tofu cheesecake ice cream, bread sand, sweet potato; apple with wakame, camu camu, taperiba and burgundy grape tapiocas, and soy milk. The beverage pairing was Tinajas Virreinales Cosecha Tardia UVA Italia. Another course that jogged our memory, this time the presentation was reminiscent of a dessert we had at Atelier Crenn in 2014. A different combination of ingredients, this course was pretty good and was nice and refreshing after the rich sea urchin.

Reef Dessert Course Tofu Cheesecake Ice Cream Bread Sand Sweet Potato Apple Wakame Camu Camu Taperiba and Burgundy Tapiocas Soy Milk Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Reef – Tofu cheesecake ice cream, bread sand, sweet potato; apple with wakame, camu camu, taperiba and burgundy grape tapiocas, soy milk

The final course of the night was Mussel: Granadilla with mandarin sorbet, mucilage foam, cacao nibs, lucuma ice cream, and raspberries. The beverage pairing was the same as the first dessert, Tinajas Virreinales Cosecha Tardia UVA Italia. A little heavier than the first dessert, but also a unique combination of flavors. A good ending to the night.

Mussel Dessert Course Granadilla with Mandarin Sorbet Mucilage Foam Cacao Nibs Lucuma Ice Cream Raspberries Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Dinner Luxury Dining
Mussel – Granadilla with mandarin sorbet, mucilage foam, cacao nibs, lucuma ice cream, raspberries

Overall, we thought Maido was a good meal, with some ups and downs. There were some standout dishes (the Nigiri & Beef Short-Rib), as well as a few that fell a bit short for us. Nevertheless, the menu was a great value for money, and the service was excellent. We would recommend getting a table at the counter to observe some of the food prep throughout the night. Even if you can’t get a reservation for the Nikkei Experience, we imagine coming here for some incredible sushi from the a-la-carte menu would be very enjoyable. We saw several tables ordering platters upon platters of sushi, and this is definitely the place in Lima to eat it!

Maido Restaurant Nikkei Experience Lima Peru World's 50 Best Restaurants Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Fine Dining Gastronomy Restaurant Review Menu Picture
Maido Nikkei Experience Tasting Menu

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Pujol Review: Haute Mexican Cuisine in D.F.

Pujol 2.0

Guest Review by Justin M. Schneider

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