Virgilio Martínez, the chef behind the acclaimed Central restaurant in Lima, Peru is to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong in July 2018, his first foray into Asia.
Ichu Peru will be a relaxed bistro-style eatery, serving Peruvian comfort food. "We want guests to feel as though they have been to Peru and experienced local comfort food," says Martinez. "Ichu will celebrate Peru’s no-fuss dining culture with a menu that showcases traditional local ingredients and cooking techniques."
The Joyce Wang-designed restaurant will have 80 covers inside, as well as a further 85 on an outdoor terrace, plus there will be a bar area for casual dining. Martinez has relocated three of his trusted team to Hong Kong, including chef Sang Jeong.
The entrance at Ichu
Central, which will close in June before being relocated to a new site in Lima, currently sits at number five on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list and has topped the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list three times.
As Martinez has told us previously, the new Central will be home to an exhibition space for the restaurant's research arm Mater Iniciativa, as well as the first solo restaurant from Martinez's wife and business partner chef Pía Leon, called Kjolle.
The pair have also recently opened a new restaurant, Mil, high in the Peruvian Andes, serving a menu exploring the foods of different altitudes, informed by Mater Iniciativa's research – the name Ichu actually derives from an Andean plant.
Martinez follows compatriot chef Mitsuharu Tsumura to this part of Asia – the latter recently opened a new Nikkei concept in Macau.
Renders: JoyceWangStudio; portrait: Cesar del Rio
Its been almost 10y of life for Central in Miraflores. On June 9th it will be our last service here and we could not be more grateful for all the beautiful people we attended in the past, and will attend until that date arrives. We’ve spent the last 5y thinking about a place more aligned with our philosophy and way of life and finally we will get a new start. New challenges will come and we will keep being the same, only better. Han sido casi 10 años de vida de Central en Miraflores. El 9 de junio ofreceremos el último servicio y no podríamos estar más agradecidos a toda la gente que atendimos en el pasado y atenderemos hasta ese día. Hemos pasado los últimos 5 años pensando en un lugar que se alineara a nuestra filosofía y forma de vida. Y finalmente llega el día de otro comienzo. Se vienen Nuevos retos y seguiremos siendo los mismos, pero mejores. #9dejuniolaultimacena @pialeonkjolle @mlnmartinez @centralrest #CENTRAL018Tupac
A post shared by Virgilio Martinez (@virgiliocentral) on May 23, 2018 at 8:09am PDT