April 09, 2019
Maido was the 14th restaurant on the quest. It was 8th on the list in 2017 and 7th on the list in 2018.
The next leg of this journey takes us to Lima, Peru. To attempt to make leaps, I wanted to go to a city that had multiple restaurants. Lima has three! With reservations seemingly available at all three, flights and hotel are booked. Then we proceed to make the reservations. Maido and Astrid are secured. The third, Central, however, was misleading. They didn’t have availability for their main restaurant but did for their sister restaurant Kjolle.
Well, that’s unfortunate. Two out of three ain’t bad. Meatloaf told me that once. (Mmmm, meatloaf.)
Maido was a short 15 minute walk from the hotel and we arrived just before the doors opened. We could see over the fence and into the foyer of the restaurant, stairs leading up to the main dining room. The staff begin to line up on the stairs. The front door opens and we make our way up.
In Japanese style, each person is greeted with shouts of “Maido!” from the sushi bar. The sushi bar is where we are parked, conveniently placed at one end to see everything that is going on.
Arriving early was advantageous. It was relatively quiet as the restaurant took an hour or so to fill fully. (We nearly finished our meal by the time a couple was placed beside us at the sushi bar.)
The 11 course meal—dubbed the Nikkei Experience—was, as you might have surmised by now, Japanese-inspired. The chef of the restaurant, Mitsuharu Tsumura, is a native Peruvian but of Japanese descent. But don’t expect a lot of sushi rolls. The meal mostly resembled what you’d find at many restaurants in the 50 Best list with fish, beef, and soup dishes.
Now, I feel like I did Maido a disservice comparing it to “many restaurants”. The meal was quite delicious with some mind-blowing courses in the mix.
A ceviche course early on was well balanced and not too acidic or vinegary as many ceviches can be. The nigiri was delicious: one piece had scallops with uni and the other had toro. I’ve grown to absolutely love scallops and this hit the spot (even if I felt that the uni didn’t add much).
The next dish was cod marinated in miso topped with Bahuaja nuts, apple gel, and mushroom powder. The ratatouille moment hit me. I savoured every bite of this. The slight crunch of the thinly sliced nuts provided a wonderful balance against the moist cod. The sweetness of the apple gel balanced with the nuttiness and the fish. It was harmony.
The absolute pinnacle of the meal was Beef Short Rib 50 Hours. Fifty. Hours. I think I cried. Oh my, this was unbelievable. It was indescribably delicious. The potato cream and crispy rice it was served with was also a perfect complement to the beef.
And then there was some stuff after that. Whatever.
I kid, I kid.
The meal ended well with delicious dishes of sweetness. The mochi was a delightfully tasty end to a wonderful meal. Considering all the good food in Lima, I highly recommend making a trip of it and add Maido to your plans.