IK restaurant is one of the fancy “modern Peruvian” restaurants in
Lima that is not part of the Gastón Acurio (Astrid & Gastón) and
Virgilio Martínez Véliz (Central) axis. When we arrived our immediate
impression was of understated and quiet elegance. IK has dimly lit
stone and wood with patterned pools of light on each table. IK has
windows onto the kitchen, which we like, and it appears that half of
the chefs are women including the head chef (Francesca Ferreyros)
which was a pleasant surprise.
The story of IK is a little sad, it’s named after Ivan Kisic. When he
died in a car accident his brother Franco had to come home from
Barcelona, where he was working with Albert Adría, to run IK. He
recruited Francesca in 2108. Francesca has experience in high end
kitchens both in Spain (Celler de Can Roca) and Thailand (Gaggan).
The food uses traditional Peruvian ingredients but borrows from a
number of different cuisines some of which are unusual in
Peru. Possibly because of Francesca’s experience at Gaggan we had
dishes with Thai and Indian influences with Andean ingredients. There
were two dishes that were Indian, one was an alpaca curry “tikka
masala” on a pappadam and another that was goat curry with crispy
olluco, roti, and raita. The Thai dish was a Crayfish Tom Yum using
Andean fresh water crayfish.
While the use of traditional Peruvian ingredients is common in upscale
restaurants in Lima, IK is using a more spice in the dishes and has
more traditional preparations. The fermented yuca and paiche was a
particularly good example. While I think this may not appeal to food
judges, reviewers for high-end magazines, or tourists unfamiliar with
Peruvian gastronomy, it reflects actual Peruvian cuisine more
accurately. IK certainly displays a mastery of modern “high end”
technique but it isn’t fussy or center stage.
The “K’allampa project” is a dish trying to revive dishes from
traditional Peruvian mycology. The K’allampa is a mushroom (Suillus
luteus) which I know of as “slippery jack” from Australia. I’ve
cooked with it, and even though I’m a big fan of boletes, I found the
slippery jack uninspiring. IK however has done amazing things with it,
creating a dish of soup, dumpling, and cracker, all made from the
We really enjoyed IK, very satisfying on all levels, especially
considering how reasonable the price was for the level of dining.