Maido

We arrived at Maido pretty much bang on time and they weren’t quite open. There were a couple of groups of people waiting outside. The others went in first and they didn’t have a reservation. Crazy to think you could get into a World 50 Best Restaurant without one! I suppose it is worth trying your luck though.

As we walk in the entire kitchen shout “Maido!” which means welcome in Japanese. The only table we could get was at the Sushi Counter which was a fun place for us to start our afternoon. There are chopsticks set for us and we can see the chefs preparing for lunch. We’re given the wine and cocktail list and warm hand towels to start.

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It’s a nine-course tasting menu with two desserts. We’re asked if there is anything we don’t like which I always very much appreciate. The cocktail list is beautifully engraved however we failed to get a photo of this, sorry! Our wine and water come out super fast and chopsticks are replaced with a spoon.

First up is the snacks and we begin with Amazonic sausage, roasted banana, sachatomate emulsion, crispy black cracker, ponzu. Nice and flavoursome. Tomatoes marinated in mirin, grilled avocado, crispy chicken skin, free-range hen eggs from Hucho, homemade bacon. This is like a really fancy club toasted sandwich. Complex but yum.

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The final snack is Aji negro chawanmushi. It’s a mushroom custard with pork broth. Very Japanese with soy flavours throughout. Off to a good start! Very fast as per usual.

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Poda Cebiche, Sarandaja cream, mackerel, shallots, aji limo, chulpi corn, nikkei leche di Tigre. The chilli kills it a bit with too much spice and the acidic balance is off. The fish is nice and the idea is good however not our favourite.

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Chicharron sandwich, steamed buns, pork belly, kimchee emulsion, creole sauce. It’s a delightful pork bao bun. There is football on the TV! It is the World Cup after all and more warm hand towels.

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Catch of the day, sudado reduction, seaweed. Is the next course and it smells phenomenal. There’s a clam vongole and the flavour develops as you eat and really grows on you. It’s warm and comforting while still feeling fresh and delicious.

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Cuy-San, cauliflower cream, garlic and rocoto cream, torikara sauce, Pachacamac greens. The guinea pig is confit and fried, cream of vegetable with a sweet sauce. It’s a nice way to serve guinea pig, fiancee describes this one as glorious. It’s what you’d expect from Japanese Peruvian I guess.

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More hand towels before we move onto the nigiris, a selection of sushi. This was brought out by the chef who made it, nice touch! Tuna belly is nice with a sweet and sour sauce, scallops and sea urchin emulsion is like a hollandaise and fiancee loves it. The beef tongue has peppermint which cools it down nicely.

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At this point, we’ve had six courses within the hour so it’s super fast. Gindara misoyaki, cod marinated in miso, crispy Bahuaja nuts apple gel, porcon mushrooms powder. The sweet jelly really compliments the salty miso with the underlying bitterness that’s just marvellous. Our waiter told us this was his favourite dish and I can see why!

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The next course is “The Best at Maido” or so we’re told. It’s 50 hours beef short tib, native potato cream, crispy rick, cushuro, black garlic. It rivals the beef at Asador Etxebarri, soft, delectable, savoury and just yum.

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Our final main course is sea urchin rice, chiclayo rice, Atico sea urchins, avocado cream, wan yi, baby corn. This one reminded me of the abalone at Quintonil however not as good. Fiancee thought it was delicious.

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For our first dessert we have reef, tofu cheesecake ice cream, bread sand, sweet potato, apple with wakame, camu camu, taperiba and burgundy graoe tapiocas, soy milk. Delicious.

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Our final course is mussel, granadilla with mandarin sorbet, mucilage foam, cacoa nibs, lucuma ice cream, raspberries. This has so much flavour it’s like three desserts in one!

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We quickly hurry out of Maido as the World 50 Best Restaurant awards are streaming live and we want to know where we are going next!

Overall a very delightful lunch and probably one of the better ones we’ve had. While they’re not being playful or hugely experimental the food was delicious, the service on point and just a damn good lunch.

Latest ranking:

  1. Tim Raue
  2. Piazza Duomo and Reale
  3. Central
  4. Quintonil
  5. Asador Etxebarri
  6. Maido
  7. Le Calandre
  8. The Ledbury
  9. Mugaritz
  10. The Clove Club
  11. Saison
  12. Arzak
  13. Azurmendi
  14. Mirazur
  15. Dinner by Heston
  16. Astrid y Gaston
  17. Pujol
  18. Restaurant Steirereck

Next up, Borago, Santiago, Chile.

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