Behind a nondescript door in a scruffy, industrial area of Lima, a place where garages and dusty tyre shops
dominate, sits Chez Wong, not only one of the Peruvian
capital’s great restaurants but an international star, too, ap lace of fervent culinary
pilgrimage that sells just two dishes: ceviche or stir-fry.
Chef Javier Wong started with a small stall nearby, selling shampoo and the occasional ceviche —
traditionally a lunchtime dish, as no refrigeration meant you didn’t want raw fish hanging about. As his legend grew, he changed his sitting room into a small restaurant. The walls are covered with
endless awards, but the place is strictly utilitarian. There are no menus, or wine lists, barely even a welcome from the small and irascible Wong.
But there’s theatre, as he produces a huge sole, still gleaming from the sea, and skins, fillets and chops it in a few deft swipes. A handful of salt, a big whack of lime and a few sliced aji chillies. That’s it. This is minimalist ceviche, pared down but pristine and the best you’ll ever taste. The fish, thrillingly fresh, is the star, the other ingredients mere adoring vassals. The stir-fry is decent too, but nothing matches that ceviche. The bill is vast and it’s hard to score a table. But Chez Wong serves the pinnacle of raw piscine perfection.
Food & Drink Special