Mesa 18 is a stunning restaurant, `a rhapsody of delight,` attached to the beautiful Miraflores Park Hotel in an exclusive suburb of the same name in Lima, Peru. The restaurant is run by the renowned chef and TV celebrity Toshiro Konishi who, although a native of Japan, has spent a major part of his life in Peru. It was here he found the inspiration to develop a new range of cuisine best described as a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian styles. His award winning dish called the tiradito is a showcase of simplicity which is a pure culinary masterpiece.
Escorted to our table we couldn’t help but be impressed with the torch-lit outside terrace with it’s tranquil sea-view and overlooking beautiful gardens. It was hard to imagine we were in the heart of the city of Lima. As it was a little chilly we opted for the warmer seating inside the restaurant. Here we were struck by the happy buzz of clients clearly enjoying an evening out. So often fine dining is accompanied by a rather austere formality. This is certainly not the case at Mesa 18 where somehow they manage to create a relaxed atmosphere whilst still retaining charm and elegance. This has to be due in part to the wonderful service provided by the extremely courteous and helpful staff. Their attention to detail was impeccable and we were given a detailed description in English of the main elements of each course. It was a tough decision as Mesa 18 offers an extensive choice of Japanese and Peruvian, menus, each of them featuring an extensive range of dishes. Finally we decided upon the Tasting Menu. Whilst making our choice we enjoyed a welcome drink of the traditional Peruvian Pisco Sour.
We began our gastronomical journey with Ensalada de Vegetales, which was a light, refreshing salad of Japanese cucumber, tomato, ginger, avocado and wakame, dressed with miso, soy sauce and topped with sesame.
Our next course was pure delight for any fans of Sushi and Sashimi. What a wonderful selection of both and so artistically arranged on the platter.
This was followed by Conchas Toshi. The fresh scallops, beautifully presented in a scallop shell, had been marinated in a delicately flavoured lime marinade and topped with the roe of flying fish.
Thankfully our portions up until now had been quite small and served at leisurely intervals as we still had one more course to tackle before the main meal! Next up was called Berenjena Gyoza; a Japanese baby eggplant, layered with pork, shrimp and onion stuffing, accompanied by a light soy dipping sauce and a Japanese chilli dip.
When the main course arrived I was over the moon to discover it was my favourite fish. I was certainly not disappointed as the Nizakana de Mero Blanco proved to be the most succulent deep sea grouper I have ever tasted in my life. It was marinated in a light sweet soy sauce and topped with ginger julienne. Accompanying this was a bowl of fried Japanese rice which can be cooked with your choice of vegetables, chicken or sea food. Delicious as it was, we were unable to make more than a slight indentation as we were already getting full!
However, after a look at the enticing array of desserts on offer we decided we simply had to have a taste, but only after a rest. This time it was my wife’s turn for a moment of ecstasy. A great fan of all recipes involving apples, she had never encountered such a delicious explosion of flavours emerging from the slow cooked apple terrine in a pisco reduction and served with ice cream. My semi frozen dessert on a base of oreo biscuits and topped with cubes of mango and a red berry sauce was equally tantalising and a perfect end to a truly memorable meal.
Mesa 18 far exceeded our expectations and is certainly a restaurant we would want to return to time after time. With it’s huge variety of ingredients, beautifully textured and seasoned sauces, artistic presentation and perfect synergy of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, our dining experience can best be described as a ‘Rhapsody in Delight’.
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. is a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator which seeks to deliver memorable experiences that are the ultimate expression of each destination’s authentic culture.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
To see our full Disclosure Policy please click here.