13 Reasons Why You Should Spend Your Food Budget at Maido

No, I didn't make 13 cassette tapes; this isn't a post about the popular Netflix TV series (that I just happened to finish and honestly, what a tease that last episode was, ugh).

Recently, I went out to dinner with three fabulous foodie friends to Maido, the number 8 restaurant in the world. The WORLD, people. Think of all the restaurants in your city. Then your state. Then the country. Then the WORLD AND DO THE MATH THAT'S JUST CRAZY. 

You may have seen my recent QUIZ that I posted, asking you to guess whether I was talking about sex or food. Take it, and then continue reading this. Go ahead, I'll wait...here's a gif to prevent you from reading the below spoiler...actual footage of me eating Ramen (another fave of mine).

Be me, 27, eating ramen on a weekly basis. 

Be me, 27, eating ramen on a weekly basis. 

Ok, whether you took it or not (liars), you now know that every correct answer was food. Because I clearly don't have enough sex? Or because I love food more? Whatever. ONLY JOD CAN GUDGE ME. This post is directly related to said quiz, and below lies my explanation, feelings, photos, and empty wallet. 

Now, I'm not exactly the type to go and blow $200 on one meal. I'm not even the type to blow $200 on a FLIGHT. And though I have no problem eating PB&J and tuna with aji sauce (I am in Peru, after all) the rest of the month, I was skeptical.

Skeptical that such a cost could be justified by 13 pieces of bite-sized seafood. Wouldn't you be, too?

Little did I know, all of this would be served on rocks, which, in all honesty, completely changed my perspective. *cue sarcasm* I now, however, expect all my meals to be served on rocks. Desserts should be served on edible rocks. My morning eggs are now cooked on rocks. Hell, I look at pebble beaches in a completely different light now. (Giant frying pan YESSSS.)

I had no idea what to expect, and I almost bailed at the last minute in a panic that I would very much need that $200 to buy, say, a new phone (mine is slowly dying a painful, screen-related death) or pay my credit card bill that I continually flinch at every time I open chase.com. But ya know what? This was an experience. (They say so on the website, so I knew it had to be true.) An experience that merges the cultures and flavors of Peru and Japan. An experience that would serve as a side-trip for me (re: the cost). An experience that bring a HOTDOG made out of FISH AND OCTOPUS with a SIDE OF CRAFT BEER to my mouth hole. (And 12 other amazing things, obviously.) And I can now say that yes, Maido's 13-course meal is an experience.

Please, take my money again. I will shred my money and use it as decor on my next PB&J. TAKE MY MONEY PLEASE, JUST TAKE IT. TAKE IT, CHEF MITSUHARA TSUMURA! 

So, without further ado, Below are the 13 reasons why you should visit Maido: the 13-course meal, complete with the alcohol pairing. (An extra penny or two but my gawd, the flavors are incredible and the quality is unlike anything else. Worth. It.) And no, this isn't a compensated post. My mouth is salivating as I write it and I had to share this before I forgot just how worth it it was. 

Surprisingly, there were people dressed in all sorts of things - from very casual to very dressy. And when I say very casual, I mean that there was a guy in a t-shirt that looked very out of place. We did our best to dress up on our limited wardrobe, though.

The Japanese flag is made out of ropes that hang from the ceiling - well, half of it. The other half is depicted through mirrors that surround the restaurant. Super cool.

Also, we started with cocktails, because we're all lushes. What's another $10 on top of the $200? The best cocktail we had: Maria something. I forget the name and didn't take a picture. But it's delicious and looks like this:

So. Good. 

So. Good. 

Alright, on to the food!

Reason 1: SNACKS

  • Onion terrine, sole tartare, smoked silverside fish, masago.
  • Sushi rice cracker, avocado, trout belly, ponzu gel.
  • Black rice cracker, olive tofu, octopus, pachikay ginger sauce.

Paired with: Sake Kikusui Junmai Ginjo

(Note: I took a class at Whole Foods a couple years back because I'm cultured AF and Junmai Ginjo is one of the best types of sake ever. It tasted AWESOME.)

Reason 2: Poda Cebiche

Sarandaja cream, mackerel, shallots, limo pepper, chulpi corn, nikkei leche de tigre. They poured this amazing, limey sauce over the dish, seen below.

Paired with: Chicha de Jora (or so they say...but when we went, it was paired with the original sake from the first dish. I'm just now realizing this. Hm.)

Reason 3: Dim Sum

Squid and sea snail cau cau, camotillo cream, crispy white quinoa.

Paired with: Candelaria Moche Loche (craft beer)

Reason 4: Choripan (AKA FISH HOTDOG WUUUT!)

Steamed bread, fish and octopus sausage, pickled vegetables, Japanese mustard, native potatoes.

Paired with: Candelaria Witbier

Reason 5: Nigiris (Catch of the Day)

Toro with a quail egg on top and sea scallop. (THIS TORO WITH EGG WAS EVERYTHING. One of my faves.)

Paired with: Bacan Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Reason 6: Lapas Cebiche

Chillpi corn, lapas, avocado, aji amarillo, leche de tigre (NOTE: the bottom yellow sauce is nitro-frozen and you have to mix it all up in this super cold rock - it becomes liquid! SCIENCE!)

Paired with: Bacan Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Reason 7: Gindara Misoyaki

Cod marinated in miso, crispy Bahuaja nuts, apple gel, Porcon mushrooms powder (THIS WAS AMAZING and one of my faves as well.)

Paired with: Baron De Ley Tres Vinas Reserva 2010

Reason 8: Caracaos de Camarones

Green rice tamale, sauteed river prawns, creole sauce, chupe reduction.

Paired with: Occhipinti SP68, 2014

Reason 9: Cassava Soba

Cassava soba, tenkatsu, vongole dashi.

Paired with: NOTHING. ("It's supposed to be a fresh dish". This is where my quote, "I didn't pay $200 to be sober" came from. Note: I was already tipsy.)

Reason 10: Sudado

Catch of the day, sudado reduction, seaweed.

Paired with: Jermann Pinot Grigio 2014

Reason 11: Sea Urchin Rice

Chiclayo rice, Atico sea urchins, avocado cream, wan yi, baby corn.

Paired with: Zidarich Vitovska 2013

Reason 12: Reef

Tofu cheesecake ice cream, bread sand, sweet potato, apple with wakame, camu camu, taperiba, and burgundy grape tapiocas, soy milk. (NOTE: some cool stuff was poured onto this that formed smoke - dry ice, nitrogen, something something cool smokey effect. Whatever it was, I can't seem to find a great pic of it.)

Paired with: S.A. Prum Wehlener Sonennuhr Riesling Kabinett 2015

Reason 13: Mussel

Granadilla with mandarin sorbet, mucilage foam, cacao nibs, lucuma ice cream, raspberries.

Also: by the time this course came, we were all pretty tipsy. The waiter told us this rock was edible. So we began to chip at it like we were mining for more food. And then we got scolded because we "broke the bowl". What, were they gonna sanitize the sugar rock and serve it to someone else?

No. They weren't.

I didn't pay $200 to not eat a rock.

Paired with: S.A. Prum Wehlener Sonennuhr Riesling Kabinett 2015

And there you have it. The party that occurred in my mouth that fine, May night. Do I regret it? Hell to the no. Would I go again? Honey if I were rich, I'd be there every NIGHT. *blogs for a living* A girl can dream...

Professional writer, designer, and do-it-aller. Remote Year citizen/alum. Currently living in San Francisco and probably trying to avoid the terrifying amounts of pigeons.