From some of the people that brought us the popular BAO, the first Asian street food concept in Peru (two Miraflores locations)….now comes Maketto Lima, a more urban Nikkei street food version.
The interior of Maketto has a slightly industrial feel and ambiance, thanks in part to the building’s brick walls, exposed metal, partially exposed ceilings, and cement floors. The narrow space with vibrant-colored, painted graffiti murals and other Japanese decor and touches do lend to the Japanese cantina vibe and you feel like you are in a Japanese street alley.
The day of our visit this month, Maketto was officially open for one month. Before opening to the general public, they held several dinners (“cena clandestinas”) in the months leading up to their official opening. The buzz began and never stopped.
One menu page is dedicated to the sashimi, nigiris, sushi, and maki rolls. The other page is focused on Nikkei-style snacks, starters, and main dishes. We found subtle and delicate dishes, as well as robust, flavor-packed plates.
We began our meal with the house beverage, Infusion de la casa (S/. 12), a light and refreshing cold concoction of chamomile, mint, passionfruit and cedron (lemon verbena), which was served in a whimsical “lightbulb” glass.
The first dish we sampled was the Batayaki (S/. 40), a delicious and generous main dish of deep-fried cauliflower, grilled robalo fish, and pieces of sweet potato. In order to prepare this plate, the whole sweet potato is first placed on a baking sheet on top of a bed of salt and roasted in the oven for 45 minutes. Afterwards, it’s cut into larger slices and fried in butter until it is caramelized and crunchy. The dish is served in a black cast iron pan and is accented with parsley and thin slices of radish. The entire dish is generously bathed in a robust kimchi sauce. The Batayaki was all about textures and flavors. This was a great way to begin our dining experience at Maketto.
A brand new dish at Maketto is the Ceviche Marciano (S/. 39). Fresh, raw slices of salmon, fried plantain slices, slivers of red onion, and aji limo, in a bath of leche de tigre sauce infused liberally with cilantro. This was a unique and mild ceviche. I enjoyed the texture of the crunchy fried plantains and the silkiness of the salmon
We adored the main dish, Fat Rice (S/. 49), which arrived at our table in a large black cast iron pan holding a combination of chicken, shrimp, cecina (sausage from the jungle), tiny succulent clams, chopped green onions, and cubes of nabo (pickled turnip), all of which were nestled into sautéed rice. All of the proteins were perfect together and balanced. This was flavor-packed, robust and highly-seasoned Japanese comfort food at its best. This dish is also served with a small tossed salad. My companions agreed with me that in order to fully enjoy all the flavors, it’s better to eat with your spoon, instead of with chopsticks. This dish can easily be shared between 2 to 3 people.
We then sampled three items from the Nigiris-Ganyakis section of the menu, the Aji Sakana, the Rokko and the Hotatte. All of the nigiris cost 18 soles, and consist of two pieces. The Aji Sakana was the overall table favorite. On top of the sushi rice was a tender slice of the fish of the day bathed in a sauce preparation of aji amarillo (yellow pepper), leche de tigre jelly, and togarashi (traditional Japanese 7- spice seasoning blend).
The Taquitos TNT (S/. 25) were exquisite and fresh. Two crunchy tostadas were topped off with pieces of fresh robalo fish, avocado, tumbo (fruit related to passion fruit) marmalade, a cream comprised of avocado, jalapeño, and wasabi, along with thin slices of radish, and ultra-thin slices of beet. All of this was drizzled with a creamy homemade mayo lime sauce. I enjoyed this dish because of the different textures, as well as the freshness of the ingredients.
For sashimi lovers, I highly recommend the Sashimi Moriawase (S/. 65). The itamae (sushi chef) chooses 18 extremely fresh, thinly sliced raw cuts of fish and seafood. The selection of robalo, cabrilla, octopus, scallops, shrimp, clams, salmon and flying fish roe was exquisite. It was one of the better sashimi presentations I have enjoyed in a long time.
Another ideal dish/option to order during the summer months would be the Yakko Sashimi Salad (S/. 33). This generous salad of mixed lettuces, kale and thin slices of raw, fresh fish of the day was quite satisfying. The salad dressing consisted of white sesame seeds, citrusy ponzu, and lime. We enjoyed the crunchy texture of the fried kale.
We ended our culinary adventure at Maketto with two of their most popular maki rolls. There are 10 maki rolls available on the menu. You can order 5 pieces for 21 soles or 10 pieces for 34 soles. The Acebichado roll was one of my personal favorites. It consisted of ebi furai (deep fried shrimp), tuna, avocado, acebichado sauce, along with a fried sweet potato garnish on top.
The Mailey Spicy roll was much richer and decadent than the other roll. It contained a combination of breaded shrimp, avocado, a creamy crab, and parmesan cheese sauce, which was topped with tare (sweet soy sauce). Being a cheese lover, this spoke to me. Others at my table weren’t as enthusiastic because they are not fans of cheese in the maki rolls.
An honorable mention must go to the Costilla Patpong (S/. 32). The large pork rib was intense in flavor, the skin was glazed and crispy, and the meat was tender; it just fell off the bone. It was sweet, salty, and sour, and had a subtle kick of spice. The sauce is a combination of Thai shoyu sauce, fried garlic, fresh cilantro sprigs, and an aji limo jam.
Please keep in mind that reservations are strongly recommended, especially during the evening hours. Many thanks to the team at Maketto Lima for your generous hospitality and the excellent food.
Av. Mariscal La Mar 830, Miraflores
Hours: Closed Monday
Tuesday-Sunday: 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Limited parking available in front and on the street
Snacks: S/. 11-19
Starters: S/. 13-33
Main dishes: S/. 40-49
Sides: S/. 7
5 pieces: S/. 21
10 pieces: S/. 34
Sashimi: S/. 21 (for 4 pieces)
Nigiris traditional: S/. 12 (for 2 pieces)
Nigiris-Ganyakis: S/. 18 (for 2 pieces)
Gunkan: S/. 16 (for 2 pieces)
Chirashi Sushi: S/. 38 (for 12 cuts)
Hand Rolls/Temakis: S/. 18-23
Cocktails: S/. 22-25
Sake: S/. 35
Wine by the glass: S/. 16
Beer: S/. 12-20
Non-alcoholic (water, soda, Infusion, limonada, tea) beverages: S/. 7-12