Dubai never does things halfway, and why have one Peruvian restaurant when you can have three? Having tried Coya and Totora (and finding both delightful), the bar was set quite high for Mayta by Jaime Pesaque. As you might also know, I love sampling the best DIFC business lunch offers, as I find they have the highest value for money (plus, it’s an easy way to scout out where you might want to come back for dinner without breaking the bank). Thus, this past Sunday, Hubs and I drove over to a very empty DIFC to enjoy a three-course meal. With a decent selection (options include five starters, five mains, and two desserts), I was happy to find Mayta on the level of the others in the Peruvian cohort. While I missed something similar to the out of this world bread that comes with Gaucho‘s lunch (damn those Argentinians), I thought the serving sizes and level of quality at Mayta delivered.
To start, I chose Chifa Tiradito, highlighting one of my favorite proteins — salmon — while Hubs opted for Puro. My dish was perfectly seasoned with all of the bright notes one would expect from Peruvian cuisine, balanced with some excellent texture in the greens, whole peanuts, and fried wontons. Even for a spice averse person such as myself, we both agreed Hubs’ dish could’ve used a touch more heat but was still quite enjoyable.
For our mains, I chose salmon again (¯\_(ツ)_/¯), this time in the form of Salmon Rostizado…because, well, it’s what I wanted. Hubs was over the moon to see skirt steak (Entrana) on the menu. He’s been looking for this cut of meat everywhere we go and hasn’t had much luck. Suggestions welcomed. Much like our starters, there was another round of beautifully presented and seasoned food. My only notes were for the steak to be served in a slightly larger plate (it was difficult to cut in the smallish skillet), but the potatoes were legendary. On my side of the table, the slightly crispy texture of my salmon worked well with the sweetness of the aji amarillo Thai curry, and I wouldn’t hesitate to order this dish again.
To finish the meal, I went with Seasonal sorbet (passion fruit and mango, served with a wonderful crunch layer of sweetened crumbs, a nice touch) and Hubs with Tres Leche, which he waxed poetic about, claiming he would ‘be happy to eat this every day.’ No higher praise indeed.
Would I go back? I certainly would! I’m keen to try the salsa night, which I realize would be less about the food and more about dancing, but the venue seems to be set up for a decent sized dance floor. I’d also love to get back when the restaurant wasn’t dry and try some Pisco Sours! Our total came to AED290, gotta love those AED40 sparkling waters and the DIFC ++), which I thought was perfectly reasonable for this meal and in line with other offers.
Overall, it comes down to semantics in the three Peruvian offerings. I personally like the interior of Coya, the service at Totora and the salmon at Mayta, but I would be happy to dine at any of the locations.