Mitsuharu Tsumura (pictured) with Cesar Choy and Oscar Lopez Aedo
Dalila Sifuentes Arévalo
50-hour braised short rib
San Martín 399, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
What makes it special: ‘Maido’ means ‘welcome’ in Japanese and the word epitomises the experience at chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura’s restaurant. From start to finish, diners are treated as if they’re at home and taken on a gastronomic journey through Peru’s finest produce. After four years in the top echelons of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, this year Maido takes the top spot – a well-deserved accolade for a cook who is liked and respected across the world.
Chef history: Tsumura gained his love for Japanese cooking on a trip to Osaka after studying the culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University on Rhode Island. Since opening Maido in 2009, he has taken part in international gastronomic events and become a celebrity in Peru as a judge on MasterChef.
On the menu: For special occasions, Maido’s Nikkei Experience and 200 Miles tasting menus are unmissable, each providing a taste of Tsumura’s Nikkei magic, with dishes such as the fish and octopus hotdog choripan, calamari and snail dim sum and the signature 50-hour asado de tira. Regulars can also enjoy sushi à la carte from the counter for a top notch but speedy mid-week lunch.
What’s the vibe? The pièce de résistance in Maido’s stylish dining room is a hanging sequence of coloured ropes in the formation of the Japanese flag. It’s smart enough for business customers while being warm and welcoming for special occasion diners and food travellers.
Other ventures: In 2016, Tsumura opened his casual restaurant Sushi Pop at two locations in Lima. He recently put his name to Ají in Macau, showcasing his signature Nikkei flavours, and Nikkei restaurant Karai in the W Hotel in Santiago, Chile.
Images: José Cáceres