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A Japanese-Peruvian Restaurant Has Been Crowned the Best in Latin America

Maido displaces fellow Peruvian restaurant Central atop the World’s Best Restaurants Latin American list.

octopus muchame Photo: courtesy Maido

The relatively young culinary tradition called Nikkei is having its moment in the spotlight. Maido—a Japanese and Peruvian restaurant in Lima, Peru led by Nikkei advocate chef Mitsuharu Tsumura—has been named the best restaurant in Latin America by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants organization.

Nikkei cuisine was born after Japanese immigrants came to Peru in the late 1800s, with some of them eventually opened restaurants. They cooked Peruvian food for the locals, but Japanese technique began to seep into their cooking. The cuisine advanced further when more Japanese immigrants arrived in Peru. However, when they arrived they wanted food from their homeland, but were forced to use Peruvian ingredients. The result was a cuisine that featured potatoes, yellow pepper, wasabi, miso, and ginger, built upon a base of lime with chili and soy sauce. “It’s a mixture of citrus, spice, and soy,” Tsumara told Fine Dining Lovers.

At Maido, Tsumura serves a changing 13-course menu that may include ceviche, sushi, pork belly, and octopus. There’s also a menu devoted to sushi as well.

The restaurant displaces the reigning champ, Central, which is also in Lima, and fell to No. 2 on the list ahead of D.O.M. of Sao Paolo, Brazil at No. 3, Pujol in Mexico City, and Boragó in Santiago, Chile. Here is the complete list:

  1. Maido, Lima, Peru
  2. Central, Lima, Peru
  3. D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
  4. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
  5. Boragó, Santiago, Chile
  6. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
  7. Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
  8. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo, Brazil
  9. Maní, São Paulo, Brazil
  10. Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  11. Sud 777, Mexico City, Mexico
  12. Osso Carnicería y Salumería, Lima, Peru
  13. Don Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  14. 99, Santiago, Chile
  15. La Mar, Lima, Peru
  16. Lasai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  17. Harry Sasson, Bogotá, Colombia
  18. Leo, Bogotá, Colombia
  19. El Baqueano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  20. Maito, Panama City, Panama
  21. Isolina, Lima, Peru
  22. Parador La Huella, José Ignacio, Uruguay
  23. Olympe, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  24. Rafael, Lima, Peru
  25. Pangea, Monterrey, Mexico
  26. Chila, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  27. Mocotó, São Paulo, Brazil
  28. Gustu, La Paz, Bolivia
  29. Nicos, Mexico City, Mexico
  30. Malabar, Lima, Peru
  31. Biko, Mexico City, Mexico
  32. Amaranta, Toluca, Mexico
  33. Ambrosia, Santiago, Chile
  34. Corazón de Tierra, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
  35. Rosetta, Mexico City, Mexico (Re-entry)
  36. Alcalde, Guadalajara, Mexico (New)
  37. Elena, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  38. Restaurante 040, Santiago, Chile (New)
  39. Máximo Bistrot, Mexico City, Mexico (Re-entry)
  40. Villanos en Bermudas, Bogotá, Colombia (New)
  41. Esquina Mocotó, São Paulo, Brazil (New)
  42. Laja, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico (Re-entry)
  43. La Docena Oyster Bar & Grill, Guadalajara, Mexico (New)
  44. Aramburu, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  45. Tuju, São Paulo, Brazil
  46. Fiesta, Lima, Peru
  47. Amaz, Lima, Peru (New)
  48. Crizia, Buenos Aires, Argentina (New)
  49. Proper, Buenos Aires, Argentina (New)
  50. Mishiguene, Buenos Aires, Argentina (New)

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