With Dubai’s appetite for Peruvian cuisine at something of an all-time high, it seems like the perfect time for a well-respected Peruvian chef to come in and show the city how it’s done. Such is the thinking of Jaime Pesaque, a famous Peruvian chef whose Lima restaurant, Mayta, has made headlines across the globe.
Carrying on in the tradition of exporting successful international restaurant brands to Dubai, Pesaque recently opened Mayta Dubai, located in the Capital Club building in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The venue is warm and welcoming, with smooth floors and angular lay-outs contrasting against comfortable furnishings and moody lighting. South American music blares from the speakers as you make your way from the entrance hall and through to the bar area. The comfortable but minimal design language carries through all the way to the restaurant seating area, which, in one part, is made up of large sofas surrounding low tables.
If you’re in a suitably sized group, these are the seats to get. It may not be traditional, but it’s a daring move that signifies Mayta is serious about its ‘sharing concept’ – a concept all-too-often pursued by other restaurants simply so that they can bring out food whenever it’s ready. The feeling at Mayta is that you should be relaxed when the food comes, and that the food shouldn’t detract from the experience of chatting with friends in the comfortable setting.
That said, this is a tall order, given the quality of food on offer. The menu, at first, comes off as a little complex, especially if you’re no expert of Peruvian food. However, with knowledgeable waiting staff always happy to make recommendations, it’s soon clear that there are plenty of gems to watch out for.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the range of cerviches, many of which incorporate Pesaque’s own base made up of lime, coriander and other ingredients. The ‘Puro’, with corvina and sweet potato, is perfectly executed – familiar but somehow unique – while the ‘Mixto’, with shrimp, octopus and scallop, will convert even the most fervent critic of seafood.
For the mains, a group of three or more would do well to go with one of the ‘Big Share’ dishes – our pick of the bunch being the ‘Arroz con pato’. An enormous platter of coriander rice, it features duck breast, confit duck leg, foie gras and egg. Succulent and hearty, every mouthful represents an explosion of fantastic flavours.
Pair that dish with an option from the restaurant’s impressively large wine list, and you have a meal that runs with the best international restaurants anywhere in the world.I want to be rewarded when I dine!