Having never been to Peru or Japan, and never having previously had the former’s cuisine, I was intrigued by Chotto Matte, which boasts an interesting and ambitious Peruvian Nikkei menu.
It was a Friday night, and I was meeting a friend from Australia (who coincidentally happens to be half Japanese, so this would be a tough test indeed) and, arriving at 19.00, I was absolutely sure we would not get a table. But, I was wrong – whilst it wasn’t a table per se, we easily secured a seat at the tostadita bar and got to watch the chefs whilst catching up over Chotto Matte’s take on the bellini.
Ebu harumaki ponzu salsa (prawn spring rolls, shiitake, yuzu, ponzu salsa),and nikkei sepia (calamari, aji amarillo emulsion)
Still not eating meat (lent is long…) we had all fish dishes. But, if you ever want to prove to someone that fish is not a bland, boring, unadventurous dish, then this is the place to bring them.
To start, we had the ebi harumaki ponzu salsa, which is like an open prawn spring roll – I’ve never had bigger, fleshier prawns. We also had the nikkei sepia calamari – very good, but calamari is calamari. I really liked the aji amarillo emulsion accompaniment though.
Miso black cod tostadita
But, the black cod tostadita absolutely stole the show – so delicious. Our waiter told us his favourite dishes on the menu and his choices did not disappoint; this dish is a showstopper. I’ve never tasted such good cod.
For mains, we had the salmon nipon and the tentaculos de pulpo. The salmon dish was essentially salmon teriyaki, which whilst very nice is nothing you can’t get somewhere else. The octopus with yuzi and purple potato, though, was something else. I’d highly recommend this dish too – don’t be afraid to try it just because it’s octopus!
Salmon nipon (salmon yuzu teriyaki) and tentaculos de pulpo (octopus, yuzu, purple potato)
The restaurant always recommends you have some sushi or sashimi too. We didn’t try any but considering how good everything else was, I won’t be hesitating to return and sample it. Add to the fantastic food a noisy, clattering, buzzing atmosphere and you’ve got a perfect Friday night dinner venue. Not cheap, mind, and very very popular.