World’s 50 Best is the first list we check when going away. In fact, it was this very list that made us choose foodie favourite Peru, over nearby but arguably less foodie, Costa Rica (sorry CR, we’re sure you are delicious too…… but you’re not on the list!)
So it was with this in mind that we made our reservation at Central, number 5 best restaurant in the WORLD. We booked our entire trip around this reservation, and moved flights to accommodate it.
So you can imagine my despair when we found ourselves stuck in a typical (who knew!) Lima traffic jam just minutes before our long-anticipated reservation. Three ditched taxis and a full on sprint later, we made it to Central just seconds before our 15 minute hold on the table expired. There was NOTHING that was going to make me miss this reservation. Despite turning up totally out of breath and sweaty, we were welcomed into the holy Central and seated at the best table in the house, right in front of the glass wall where we watched the geniuses at work.
If you haven’t watched Netflix’s Chef’s Table, you must (series 3, episode 6). Even if you’re not a total foodie (seriously, what are you doing on this site??) it’s a masterpiece. It takes you on the most beautiful journey of Peru – from the Andes to the Amazon – and shows the passion, experimentation and love that goes into every course at Central.
Head chef Virgilio Martínez takes you on this same journey with his spectacular 17 course menu. The Mater Elevations menu starts at -10m with sea snails and takes you as high as 3700m with a dessert containing Caigua, Chirimoya, Sweet Lemon and Chaco Clav.
Highlights for us included the Lofty Andes – potatoes served alongside freeze-dried alpaca heart and muna mint, as well as Land of Corn, a dish serving the humble corn in a plethora of decadent ways.
It was the most highly rated restaurant I’ve had the pleasure of visiting on the list – and it was indeed, the best.
Compared to western tasting menus we found it extremely good value and an experience like none other. If you are lucky enough to get a reservation, there is no better way to end your travels around ever enchanting Peru.
If you want a surprise, look away now, but otherwise, here is a photo of each course………