Tokyo, the metropolitan capital of Japan, houses a cornucopia of cuisines from around the world. You name it you’ve got it: Russian, Thai, Brazilian, Belgian… and of course Peruvian! Peruvian cuisine is meat, starch, legume, and spice heavy and has roots that originate from the indigenous peoples including the Inca tribe. Early immigrants from Europe and Asia also have influences on Peruvian food. Common cooking methods include stewing, grilling as well as ceviche, where citrus acids are used to cure raw foods.
Tucked away in an alley a 10-minute walk from Shibuya station is Miraflores, which is in an upscale residential area in Lima. The exterior has draping fairy lights over bar stool tables, which also doubles as a smoking area. The interior seats about 30 people and is cozy with dark timber furniture and soft chandelier lights.
The manager who welcomed us was warm and friendly and explained the menu and specialties readily. We ordered the seafood ceviche with vegetables, Plato Campesino beef steak with beans, onions and rice, Seco de Lomo Miraflores beef stewed with black beer and herb sauce, and the Arroz con Mariscos rice skillet with seafood and spices. Some interesting drinks on the menu were pisco, which is a brandy distilled from grape wine, as well as camu camu beer made with camu camu, an Amazonian power berry.
Roasted corn kernels were served as a communal amuse bouche. The corn kernels were huge and really tasty! We learned that Peruvian corn called ‘choclo’ was used to make these corn nuts. We couldn’t wait to eat when the food arrived. It smelt heavenly, an aroma of deep rich spices with hints of char and smokiness. The dishes were served with a green cilantro and chili based sauce that has the consistency of pesto.
The ceviche was fresh and tangy, a mixture of springy and crunchy textures from the fish, shrimp, squid, and vegetables. Ceviche fun fact: the Peruvians believe it to be an aphrodisiac as well as a hangover remedy! The beef chunks were tender and hearty, and the sauces were just sublime. Rich, flavorful and homely food, just like I imagine would have come from a Peruvian grandmother’s kitchen. For dessert, we had the Suspiro a la Limena which translates to “Limean Woman’s Sigh”, and the Mazamorra Morada, a purple corn pudding. The Suspiro Limeno is a dulce de leche mousse topped with bruleed meringue and tastes as beautiful as it looks.
Miraflores is perfect for a night of tasty, homely and flavorsome Peruvian food, and is also great for parties. Delicious food along with great company make for an amazing night in Shibuya – definitely one to remember!
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