Another two Central alumnis decided to open their own restaurant this month is opening his own restaurant at restaurant Merito.
The idea with Merito is to unite the Peruvian and Venezuelan cusine in a casual and social restaurant, but with high quality food on the plate. I came to learn Juan Louis one of the chefs as he was going to Copenhagen for a research trip and wanted some restaurant tips. The inspiration was apparent In both decor and flavorprofile in some of the dishes.
The restaurant is split in two floors. The first floor is an open kitchen with a wide counter for a few guests and the second floor which is decorated entirely in wood from top to bottum. Very cosy.
I had been invited to try the menu before the official opening a long with a couple of other foodies. Luckily enough we could fit around the small bar in the kitchen providing for a perfect atmosphere.
When entering the kitchen I first noticed the Josper grill which was to be central for the dishes to come.
First up a grilled corn with a chili and cheese sauce. The combination of the smokekey corn, rich cheese and the “hot” chili was amazing. Eating the small pieces of corn strait out of the grilled cob with your hands was of course also a fun part. A really delicious start.
The next dish could unfortunately not live up to the first dish. A croquete with mashua, kanigua and a raw uni. The warm filling was too hot to be able to focus on the flavor and textures of the dish. Something I am sure they will fix by the time they open.
Quickly back on track though. This time with some Nordic inspiration which was to follow us for the next two dishes. Razor clams with raw celeriac and crunchy yacon. Everything about this dish was mild and delicious in a very good way. A very good dish.
The highlig of the meal was a very juicy and delicious whole fried fish with black garlic and a different vinagret which name I do not remember. The idea was to eat it with an arepa but for me the fish was so delicious that I wanted it to just eat by its own. Especially plucking out the fish with my hands and in particular the head which I absolutely love. A dish actually modelled over the cod dish at Restaurant Barr in Copenhagen.
With the first dessert I was to try a fried chirrimoya with a chirrimoya icecream for the first time. The fried chrimoya was rich and sweet while the icecream was extremely refreshing. It goes without staying that it was delicious.
Delicious was also a good description of the last dessert. Chocolate mouse and chokolade brownies. What can I say when Latin Americans does chokolade they usually do it well.
I left the restaurant full and very happy. I would come back for the corn and the whole fish any day. With the dishes that I got to try I still got the sensation that they have not quite found their own identity yet as it didn’t fell like the dishes had a common feal and sence of direction.
I love the design of the restaurant. The first floor is filled with wood and exposed bricks reminding me of a Norweigan cabbin and the chefstable in the kitchen is the place to be if you want to see the workings of the kitchen.
A lot of the dishes at Merito are made to share which is very Peruvian and cosy. With its great flavors, cosy atmosphere it will be a great place for Sunday lunch or just a cosy dinner.