CHEZ WONG

Lima

Esquire (UK) - - CULTURE -

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

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