399 San Martin street
Miraflores – Lima
Telephone: (511) 447 – 9333
Overall rating: 6.5/10
Date of visit: August 2016
I hadn’t heard about Maido before getting ready to go to Peru, but then I found some people who spoke highly of it online, and I found it was also placed as #13 on Restaurant Magazine’s Top 50 list of restaurants.
The style of food is a mix of Asian (Japanese) and modern Peruvian food. I was here for lunch and was seated at the sushi bar:
The tasting menu is priced at 399 sol (€116), and to start out I had a cocktail, priced at 21 sol (€6.12) and two small bottles of water, priced at 9 Sol each (€2,62). Most of the food was cold or lukewarm.
If I was scoring restaurants on how creative or different the food was, Maido would rank very highly.
The first course in the tasting menu was meant more as a snack, and it started the menu off well – actually it was probably the best course in the meal. It was a chicken skin cracker and a soup with ginger in a separate bowl (8/10):
Next was “churro”, which was a sea snail and a soup with potatoes and too harsh onions (6/10):
This was followed by Lapa with chili and hazelnuts if I’m not mistaken (6-7/10):
Next was a small sandwich with the fish paicha, which is a Peruvian river fish. This was served with lime and onions (7/10):
A Japanese dumpling was served with ponchu sauce and chili (7/10):
This was followed by sushi of calamari and scallop (7/10):
An amazonian ceviche was served with flat noodles and a too sour soup (5/10):
Yuka and pork was served with cracker sides, pork rind on top and a reduced ramen sauce (6/10):
Noodles of “fake” potatoes that grow on branches was served with local (too) spicy spices and very fresh crab meat (5-6/10):
The other highlight of the menu was “sushi” of angus beef (seared with a hand-held burner) and quail egg as well as one with sweetbreads on rice (7.5/10 or maybe 8/10):
Next was an avocado cream with coriander (cilantro), local beans and crackers. This looked very nice, especially if a good photographer had used a great camera, but it basically only tasted like beans (5/10):
Next was cod marinated in miso with toasted hazelnuts and potato cream. The fish didn’t have as firm a texture as one could have hoped for, and it didn’t taste super fresh either, but overall this was a fairly pleasant dish (at best 7/10):
Asado here meant short rib of beef cooked for 50 hours served with a lukewarm egg yolk, a roll with rice and raw onions with lime if I’m not mistaken. The beef was the best part here, and the onions were, again, too harsh. Overall 7.5/10:
The first dessert was a chocolate cream with ice cream of amazonian coconuts, slightly minty jelly, and hazelnuts toasted in butter and sugar. The nuts were one of the best elements in the entire meal, but the ice cream didn’t have much flavour, nor do I remember the rest of the dish being particularly spectacular. Overall 7/10:
The last dessert I simply cannot recall what was, but it had good ice cream and good combinations (7/10):
So, as you can see, there were many ups and downs in this meal, although luckily none of them dipped into the “bad” end of the scale and almost all stayed within the 5 to 7 range.
I did find too many dishes were more “interesting” than “good”, and I lost interest around halfways through. Many of the ingredients used here I had never heard of before, so as mentioned in the introduction it was indeed a very creative meal. Luckily, unlike Central in Lima, it also had some highlights, although none that touched the stars. One thing that bothered me was that too many dishes were a tad sour (Peruvians do seem to love their limes), or they used raw onions which became too harsh. Obviously, this also has a lot to do with personal taste, as can be seen from their high ranking on the Restaurant Magazine’s top 50 list. And as always, had I had a different menu I might have given a completely different score (whether higher or lower).
I found the price for the menu reasonable, but in general Peru is a much cheaper country than Western Europe, although certain things, including mid-level restaurants, are very similar priced to the Western European ones. The cocktail I found both tasty and very reasonably priced. I dare you to find any high-end restaurant in Northern Europe (or Hong Kong) that serve a cocktail at that price!
Then there was the service. The waiters were friendly and helpful as one would expect. The French sommelier suggested that I start off with a cocktail and then later move to a glass of wine, as I had asked for a glass of white wine. He said he would return when I had finished my cocktail, but he never did. Of course, I could just have asked another waiter to send the sommelier over, but after waiting for quite a while I just figured I would drink water until he showed up – but he never did. Drinking water didn’t run quite as smoothly as in some of the best European restaurants either. In those places I’m usually asked if I would like more water when I’m about to finish my water or shortly after finishing it. Here, I finished my bottle and then waited for quite a while, until I just asked for more. This is hardly the end of the world, but when you’re used to more attention in high-end restaurants in other parts of the world, you come to expect it. I have spent around two months in Peru, so I have seen that service doesn’t seem to be as important as in certain other parts of the world, so it’s a cultural thing as well.
Overall, not a bad meal, but nevertheless a bit disappointing taste-wise despite the high level of creativity, and I will most likely not go back to Maido for another meal. However, overall I found this meal a bit less creative than Central in Lima, but more tasty – there were actually highlights at Maido. But Astrid y Gaston and Rafael were still the best restaurants I went to in Peru.