I’ve never tried sake before.
But last night I did and it was a beautiful thing. It was like a warm, alcoholic, savoury herbal tea.
And after all those maki, it was just what the doctor ordered!
Hanzo is a Peruvian Japanese Restaurant serving up a fusion of both cuisines. Their menu includes – among others – sashimi, sushi, main plates and desserts
But the maki are what I come for.
Aren’t they just beautiful.
Every time we come we make the effort never to order the same maki, so that we can eventually try all of them! They are all great, but I can absolutely recommend the Parillada, which comes with slices of barely scorched beef and slightly melted cheese, topped with chimichurri. In-cre-di-ble.
Oh, and the Butter Roll is a fantastic option too.
This time we started with the Showa Maki and the Taisho Maki.
The Showa comes with breaded prawns and avocado on the inside, tuna and ginger on the outside, and is finished with a drizzle of sesame oil (and a garnish…).
This particular maki was excellent. The tuna was perfectly soft and melted like butter in the mouth, the ginger gave a nice heat, the prawn gave a crispness, and the avocado was perfectly creamy. The perfect combination. And then the drizzle of oil meant that absolutely every flavour base was covered and there was no need for a dipping sauce.
A damn fine maki.
The Taisho has salmon, avocado and cucumber on the inside, and then the outside is covered with a layer of crispy quinoa.
This comes served with a dipping dish of huacatay sauce. Huacatay is a herb, a kind of mint, and it gets blended up with queso fresco and crema de leche (a thin cream) to make a sauce.
The cucumber in the maki gave such a freshness that I wasn’t expecting, and the herby sauce actually went alongside this very well. The Taisho was also perfect dipped in my favourite sauce, salsa anguila (eel sauce), which is very sweet; a perfect accompaniment to the simple flavours of this maki roll.
After these 20 maki had magically disappeared in about 5 seconds, we sat back with our wine to watch the chefs in action.
We had been seated at the bar around the sushi/maki/sashimi making station and so had a prime viewing spot to witness the amazing techniques on show.
Which obviously included blowtorching stuff!
I would absolutely recommend sitting at the bar if you come to eat here as a couple or small group. The atmosphere is great and there is much more to see than when you are sat around a table. You can ask the chefs questions about each item and watch them at work; it’s all fascinating.
After the dinner entertainment, we decided that it was time for more maki and chose the Tako Karami.
It came with crab meat, crispy fish skin and avocado on the inside, a slice of salmon (blowtorched) on the outside, and topped with finely diced octopus.
The maki itself wasn’t my favourite, but the salmon (like the tuna before it) was perfectly fresh and a pleasure to eat. The octopus topping stole the show, however, with it’s creamy texture and slight kick of spice. Beautiful.
Now, I was pretty much done, but our sushi chef at the bar decided that we should try something else, and gave us a small plate on the house.
The sushi was comprised of sticky sushi rice, topped with a slice of raw mero (my favourite!!!!), and drizzled with a mix of sesame oil and salsa ostion (oyster sauce). He then blowtorched it and handed it over to try.
The heavenly mero, the smokey flavour from the blowtorch, and the sweet sauce were just a match made in heaven.
And then….came the sake.
(I desperately want to have one of these ceramic sake sets in my house, even if it’s just for aesthetic purposes.)
Sake was something I always wanted to try but never really found the time or had the opportunity to try it. Well last night was my night.
We had two options as to how to take our sake. Hot or cold. We decided on the hot option, even though the weather here in Lima was about as boiling as the sake itself.
I have to say though, this warming sake is the perfect way to relax after a meal. I wasn’t sure about it to start with, as the flavours were strange to me, but as I finished my first little cup I realised I was growing to like it. By the end I was a sake fan.
If you are not a sake fan, no problem, Hanzo also have Japanese beer on offer – we had Sapporo. Or if you prefer wine, they don’t charge for corkage on the first bottle, so you can BYOB and pay nothing!
The next time you have a craving for Maki, head to Hanzo and you will not be disappointed.
Food // A plate of 10 maki range from S/34-39
Drink// A small jug of sake was S/22 and a Japanese beer (Sapporo) was S/20 , but you can BYOB and corkage for the first bottle of wine is free.
Location // Hanzo has 2 locations in Lima:
Av. Primavera 1494, Santiago de Surco
Av. Conquistadores 598, San Isidro