Dalila Sifuentes Arevalo
What is Nikkei? Simply put, Nikkei is a combination of Peruvian ingredients defined by Japanese techniques. But the dishes at Mitsuharu Tsumura’s Maido are anything but simple. Embodying this principle has taken Tsumura on a journey, much like the members of the Japanese diaspora (also named Nikkei).
What’s on offer: The fusion of Latin American and Eastern cuisines leads to an exciting and unusual menu. The 12-course ‘Nikkei Experience’ degustation is predominantly fish-focussed: dishes such as Paracas scallops with green butter beans and miso feature alongside crab dishi and tapiocas. The beef cheek is also not to be missed, served with tsukemono and a cloud of jora corn. Round off the marathon meal with the surprising and delicate medley of lucuma ice cream, topped with soy sauce and macambo foam.
Chef’s story: Tsumura began his love affair with gastronomy at a young age and it was his father who encouraged him to turn his passion into a profession. After graduating in culinary arts in the US, he travelled to Osaka to learn about Japanese heritage and tradition and his time in kitchens around Japan led him to specialise in sushi and Izakaya – Japanese-style tapas. In 2009, Maido was born, combining the culture and flavours of both his backgrounds.
A memorable setting: The Maido dining room is jaw-droppingly artistic. Thick ropes cascade from the ceiling and hang low over the tables. On arrival, guests are greeted by a joyful ‘maido’, meaning welcome in Japanese.