The star of the menu at Mayta, the eleventh restaurant from ambassador of Peruvian cuisine, Chef Jaime Pesque, is the ceviche, which in a city filled with a reputable list of upscale Peruvian dining options is saying a lot. Dishes sure to pique the interest of raw fish aficionados include the Amazonas, which features slices of sea bass with ginger, hearts of palm, hazelnut, and a peppering of cilantro. Another highlight is the snapper (Mercado) with its crunchy capers, avocado, and nutty Parmesan. Meanwhile, plant-based patrons can opt for the wild mushroom with asparagus and dill ceviche, which manages to hit all of the flavorful notes that Peruvian cuisine promises, thanks to its medley of Spanish, African, Japanese, and Chinese influences.
With its dark wood paneling and Aztec-inspired accents, Mayta, which is located in the Dubai International Financial Center, flies the flag for the flavors of Peru in an upscale but unfussy environment. “It is traditional flavors with personal touches,” Chef Jamie explains to Savoir Flair of his concept, over a dinner and personal meet-and-greet the week of his much-anticipated opening. “The name of the restaurant in my mother language means ‘noble land’. We are thankful for our country, and I wanted to pay tribute to this with modern Peruvian dishes.” So how has Chef Jamie’s contemporized ode to his homeland played out on the plate? One example is the quinoa salad. While quinoa has quickly become one of the most ubiquitous and trendy ingredients to be found on restaurant menus across the world, Chef Jamie’s mixture of crispy oyster mushrooms, baby potatoes, confit cherry tomatoes, and a miso ponzu vinaigrette with mint and basil upgrade what could be a relatively basic dish to give it a truly memorable identity.
If ceviche and quinoa won’t cut it and it’s heartier fare you’re after, begin with the beef empanadas oozing mozzarella before moving on to the crown jewel of the main menu, the Arroz Con Pato, which arrives to the table in a sizzling brass frying pan and is filled with tender duck breast, foie gras, a sunny side up egg, and creamy coriander rice. This is the type of dish that will make the neighboring tables stare, trust us. Be sure to round it out with Chef Jamie’s Peruvian-style dulce de leche with rose meringue and wild berries or a rich slice of the Amazonian chocolate fondant with banana ice cream, and you’ll quickly understand why the Peruvian culinary revival is here to stay.