Maido is Lima’s most famous “Nikkei” style restaurant. Nikkei cuisine
is the food of the Peruvian Japanese. Is 500 years long enough for
food to stop being “fusion” and become its own thing? Peru has been
home to Japanese and Chinese immigrants since the 1500’s and has
embraced both cuisines and integrated them into Peruvian cuisine.
Maido is another one of the “Top 50 Restaurants” in Lima, and is just
a few blocks from where we’re staying. It has a calm Japanese feel
inside, and diners are greeted with a shouted “Maido!” as they
enter. There is a traditional sushi bar and tables under a hanging
forest of rope.
The dishes are all either Peruvian with Japanese influence like the
Poda Cebiche, or Japanese with Peruvian influence like the Gindara
Misoyaki with toasted brazil nuts. All of them were technically
excellent and artfully presented. The sudado, a traditional Peruvian
“sweated fish” soup served bubbling in a hot iron pot (“nabe”) was a
standout. The two desserts showcased the two main types of
Theobroma. Cacao, well known for chocolate, and Bicolor or macambo,
the less well known brown and white cousin. The macambo was by far the
more interesting of the two, including a sweet savory salty smoky
plantain and shoyu!