Lima’s culinary wizard fuses Japanese and Peruvian cuisine to mind-blowing effect
All about Nikkei: When Peru meets Japan on the plate, Nikkei is born – and chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura is the Nikkei king. This translates to a welcoming spot where fresh fish and citrus-packed sauces reign supreme. No wonder it was voted The Best Restaurant in Latin America in 2017, knocking nearby Central from its three-year stint at No.1.
On the menu: Chef Micha’s Nikkei Experience menu is a journey through Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. There is succulent cod marinated in miso with crispy nuts, nigiri sushi, sea urchin rice, 50-hour beef short rib and even tofu cheesecake ice cream. Everything sings with flavour, zing and the natural bright colours that come from Peru’s produce. There’s also a separate sushi counter and menu for everyday or business diners.
About the chef: Born in Lima, Tsumura was encouraged by his father to turn his passion for cooking into a profession and, after studying culinary arts in the US, he went to Japan to learn about his cultural and culinary heritage. He spent many months washing dishes before learning vital knife skills and eventually how to cook rice and make sushi. He took a job at the Sheraton on returning to Lima and, some years later, opened Maido.
Other ventures: Tsumura has his hand in many pies, including the casual Sushi Pop chain and Karai restaurant in Santiago. He recently opened Ají restaurant in Macao, serving many of the Maido classics alongside flavoursome fish tiraditos and nigiri.
Images: José Cáceres