MAIDO’S NEW MENU: A 15 YEARS JOURNEY

Maido places as the 5th restaurant on The World’s 50 Best List, their fifteen-year journey is encapsulated on a 15 course menu with their respective pairings.

Written by Ketty Cadillo (IG @kettycadillo)

Time flies, that’s for sure. For Mitsuharu Tsumura (Micha), this time was dedicated to preserving a tradition and cooking style at his restaurant Maido, faithful to its roots. Over a decade later, the chef and his team are exploring a broader spectrum of flavors and products. This journey, encapsulated in 15 dishes with their respective pairings, immerses us in a modernized time machine—a tasting menu in celebration of their anniversary.

For those who followed Maido’s journey since it opened its doors in 2009 when Nikkei cuisine was gaining popularity worldwide, Mitsuharu Tsumura’s (Micha) culinary approach has always been marked by innovation, a keyword defining the chef and his team’s work. Fifteen years later, their efforts are showcased in a condensed form as part of this celebration in their first tasting menu—there will be two throughout 2024.

Maido. Umami, the essence of Maido’s food, a broth made from dashi, seaweed, mushrooms, and dehydrated vegetables.

The journey begins with the foundational flavor from the East, umami presented this time as a broth made from dashi (fish stock), seaweed, mushrooms, and dehydrated vegetables, all contained in a biodegradable corn-based filter bag: hot, it awakens the taste buds, preparing them for what’s to come, an Amazonian Zigzag. This dish references its presentation style but is made with Amazonian sausage, loche cream, and plantain textures that leave a delicate, almost sweet finish in the mouth. It exemplifies how coastal and jungle ingredients can be harmoniously blended.

Returning to sea level, the menu continues with a razor clam tiradito, a small gem encased in a tartlet with sea collagen, crab, and smoke emulsion, with razor clam petals shaped like flowers. It has a smooth texture and balanced flavor. Then, the classic “A lo Pobre,” a nigiri made of crispy sushi rice, quail egg yolk, and wagyu beef that melts in the mouth like butter. Next comes El Intruso: foie mousse, figs, picarón honey, all encased in a crispy runtus (a native potato) shell.

Maido. El Intruso has a foie mousse, and figs all encased in a crispy runtus potato shell.

After five dishes, to cleanse the palate, a sorbet made from Arequipean papaya arrives at the table with a sweet-sour flavor and a texture similar to grapefruit, wonderfully combined with wasabi, cutting through the previous flavors to make way for trout with ají. The fish from Cerro de Pasco is served with yellow ají, olive oil, and nitrogenated corn crumble that melts in the mouth. Cuy San arrives as a crispy chicharrón with tender meat, served with Arequipa-style yellow ají batter and a green salad. The sea snails in soy sauce with yellow ají foam and Nikkei sauce and the fish sandwich with fried bread, gindara (black cod), prawn tartare, and a chalaquita is a more elaborate take on the famous silver fish sandwich. The ramen is robust, featuring squid as pasta, Amazonian dashi, and Amazonian sausage, comforting for the body.

Maido. Cuy SanCuy crispy guinea pig leg with tender meat served with Arequipa-style yellow ají batter and a green salad.

The toro, cut at the table, becomes a unique experience, especially if Micha himself is the one slicing it into thin strips, which, mixed with sea urchin, egg yolk sauce, and sushi rice, melt in the mouth. Next is the tacuchaufa – pork belly kakuni, native potato foam, and crispy chaufa – one of the first dishes that made Maido famous and caused long lines at some versions of Mistura. To close, the desserts by Dalila Sifuentes are part of this menu: Porcón Mushrooms, an ice cream with crispy elements, buttery cheese foam, soy milk, and lemongrass with exquisite aesthetics in the shape of a rose. The experience is completed with a sort of crispy native potato bonbon that looks like chocolate and a delicious strawberry mochi with condensed milk.

Special mention goes to the pairing that accompanies this experience, the work done by sommelier Flor Rey is remarkable. Each wine and spirit that accompanies the journey has been carefully selected to enhance the food. This journey takes us through wineries in France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, and Peru, with various white and red grape varieties, and even rum. It’s worth focusing on the non-alcoholic pairing option, where Flor has done an outstanding job.

Maido. The menu ends with a native potato bonbon that looks like chocolate and a delicious strawberry mochi with condensed milk

In conclusion, interpreting Micha himself, we can say that after 15 years and all the research, risks, cooking, daring, and more, Maido is now a space where the chef makes “the food he wants”. This hard-earned freedom masterfully combines his heritage.

Etiquetas: mitsuharu tsumura, maido, micha, 50 best, english

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