Lima’s Central Restaurant & It’s Top 10 Spot In The World

Central Restaurante delivers a unique dining experience emphasizing Peruvian ingredients.  The restaurant is consider one of the best restaurants in the world and has been for the past few years.  Here are its awards:  

  • #4 on the 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
  • #4 on the 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
  • #15 on the 2014 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
  • #50 on the 2013 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
  • #1 on the 2015 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants
  • #1 on the 2014 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants
  • #13 on the 2013 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants
Central Restaurante Lima Peru
Central’s Decor

Central Restaurante is situated in a low profile building in Lima’s Miraflores neighborhood.  Chef Virgilio Martinez is the head chef behind the restaurant’s menu; the menu takes you on an adventure of Peru’s ecosystem from the Pacific Coast to the Amazon.  The Central team forage Peru’s land at every altitude to discover local ingredients and brings them to Central’s table.  Central Restaurante is part of the culinary movement of sustainability.

The service at Central Restaurante rivals any Michelin rated restaurant in the world; however, there is one thing the restaurant lacks, which is a solid synchronize delivering of dishes.  Alinea, French Laundry, Narisawa, Noma, Arpege and the like have their coordinated delivery to ensure each patron receives their dish at the same time.  Central Restaurante delivers their dish one at a time, which really throws off the experience.  On the other hand, Central Restaurante provides quality explanations of the back stories of the dish and how it was prepared.

Central Restaurante Lima Peru
Diversity of Corn

The restaurant has a high ceiling that absorbs the sounds of the semi-lively atmosphere.  The decor draws its influences from Pre-Inca architecture with its neutral grey tones and stones; the kitchen could be viewed from anywhere in the restaurant with only a glass wall separating it from the dining room.  It was fun to see the kitchen staff maneuver each station  in between dishes.

Now, the food. Central Restaurante provides two tasting menus, which are a 13 course and 18 course menu.  In addition, Central Restaurante provides wine and juice pairing options.  I personally wanted the full experience and went with the 18 course menu and the juice pairing.  The Mater Elevations takes you on a journey through Peru’s landscapes and altitudes.  Each dish contains an ingredient from Peru’s altitude and presented beautifully with the vast array of different colors.  In other words, it’s a culinary hike with the sweat.  Here are my favorites:

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  1. Juice Pairing – Central’s juices were all very light in flavors and contained no added sugars.  It’s not surprising as the restaurant filters its own water.  Central relied on the natural flavors and sweetness of the fruits and vegetables used in the juices.

    Central Restaurante Lima Peru
    Solar Mucilage
  2. Colors of Amazonia (400M) – The dish consisted of Paiche, Nut, Pijuayo, and Ungurahui.  Paiche can be found in the Amazon and can grow anywhere up to 500 lbs. in size.  The exotic fish has a delicate flavor without being flaky; the thinly slice fish tasted great and had a nice texture to it.  The Pijuayo had a very nutty flavor and mesh well with the Ungurahui’s sweet flavor.

    Central Restaurante Lima Peru
    Colors of Amazonia
  3. Three Skins (2,300 M) – The gorgeous dish contained Avocado, Loche, and Kiwicha.  The Kiwicha added a nice little crunch to the dish while the Avocado providing a buttery texture.  The Loche had a delicate flavor to it and a bright color to the dish while adding a level of creaminess to the dish.

    Central Restaurante Lima Peru
    Three Skins
  4. Extreme Stem (2,875 M) – The colorful dish resembles the color tones of Lima’s architecture.  The Oca’s sweet flavors meshed with Olluco and Elderberry.  Olluco’s leaves had a nice fresh crisp taste to it while the Elderberry’s tangy taste balanced out the Oca’s sweetness.

    Central Restaurante Lima Peru
    Extreme Stems
  5. Harvest and Collection (0 M) – This is Chef Virgilio Martinez’s signature dish and the presentation has evolved like the tasting menu.  The famous dish contain Lettuce, Scallops, and Sweet Potato Leaves.  The perfectly cooked scallops were soft and plentiful on the plate as the Lettuce and Sweet Potato Leaves decorated it.  The scallop’s richness was nice on the palate like A5 Japanese Kobe beef.

    Central Restaurante Lima Peru
    Harvest & Collections

Overall, Central Restaurante definitely impresses with its culinary artistry.  The colorful dishes with its vibrant flavors cements its place as one of the World’s 50 Best restaurants.  The culinary adventure through Peru’s ecosystem is a must journey like Machu Picchu.

Check out our other Lima articles here.

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  • 9/10
    Service - 9/10
  • 9.5/10
    Presentation - 9.5/10
  • 9/10
    Flavors - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Decor - 8.5/10
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    Ambiance - 8.5/10
8.9/10

Summary

Chef Virgilio Martinez is the head chef behind the restaurants menu; the menu takes you on an adventure of Peru’s ecosystem from the Pacific Coast to the Amazon. Each dish contains an ingredient from Peru’s altitude and presented beautifully with the vast array of different colors. It’s Lima’s culinary Machu Picchu hike.

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