Mitsuharu Tsumura, chef and owner at the Maido restaurant in Lima (ranked 11th on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants List 2013), says he plans to open a new restaurant in the city this year.
Tsumura is classed by many as one of the modern day ambassadors for Nikkei cuisine in Peru - a style of food that was born around 50 years ago when Japanese immigrants began combining traditional techniques and ingredients with Peruvian styles of cooking.
In the past five years there’s been an explosion of Nikkei cuisine across Lima and now, with thanks to chefs Ferran and Albert Adria with their Nikkei style Pakta restaurant in Barcelona, a number of international journalist’s are now focusing their attention on the ever increasingly popular style of food.
Tsumura’s second restaurant in Lima will be a large 200-seat venue that combines styles of Japanese and Peruvian street food in a location close to the beach. Called Ikuzo (meaning ‘let’s go’ in Japanese), Tsumura says the larger restaurant with a democratic pricing plan will help to educate people in the country about Nikkei cuisine.
Speaking about the new venture, Tsumura said: “We’re bringing street food to a restaurant, Japanese and Peruvian street food that you can eat everywhere and we’re going to put in a very fun restaurant. Lot’s of skewers, lots of grilling, Peruvian sauces, Japanese teriyaki and lots of things with Peruvian potatoes.
“Everything will be served in paper bags, leaves, on skewers, little grills on the table. It has a very big, fun bar - we’re still working on the menu but we’re just finishing the look and feel of the place. I want it to be a place where people go to have fun, very noisy, cooks shouting from the kitchen, a large bar with beverages inspired by Peruvian drinks and cocktails.”
Tsumura also hinting at plans for a third Lima location that will operate as a Japanese style steak house. “Imagine a Sushi bar but everything will be grilled on fire - steaks, whole grabs, fish, mushrooms - No names yet, we’re looking for a place, the concept is clear we just need a venue. You will sit at a big style sushi bar with around 10 different sauces in front of you and maybe three or four sides for your proteins and use this huge stick to drag the different sauces round the table.”
Ikuzo is set to open in the South of Lima in June 2014.