Visiting IK Restaurante was one of the highlights during our time in Lima. The restaurant is very intimate and the decorations are minimal. The walls are full of plants, the kitchen has a glass window and it's a cozy atmosphere. "IK" stands for the original visionary and owner of the restaurant, Chef Ivan Kisic who was tragically killed in a automobile accident shortly before IK Restaurante opened. But his family keeps his dream and memory alive by serving his recipes in the restaurant he designed. All the food is organic and the restaurant combines Avant-garde and ancestral techniques to surprise the client with the many aspects of Peruvian culture. It was an amazing experience for us and every dish engaged our senses. We decided to each have the "IK experience" with 12 courses served to each of us. When we first arrived to the restaurant we were the only couple there for about an hour. I think we surprised the staff by both ordering drinks and the 12 course meal and the head chef himself came out to greet us and deliver one of our courses. A little while later the sous chef came out to meet us and deliver another course, and then she also delivered our last course which was very special.
For the "snack" we were served rice crisps with algae balls (on the plate) and rice puff raviolli with an avocado cream (in the basket).
The first course had two components. The first dish was some kind of chute (we forgot the name of what it was), with homemade ricotta and editable flowers. Seved on a bed of dried Andean mushrooms. The second part of the dish was "AYACUCHANS POTATOES" cooked in incredibly salty bread (they leech the salt from the bread) inside a clay pot with coals at the bottom. That second dish was cooked in a charcoal stone oven. I cannot remember for the life of me what this dip was, but it was creamy, garlicky and amazing.
For the second course it was again, two parts. The first part was hearts of palm with a black olive oil aioli sauce. The second plate was roasted baby corn inside corn leaves with homemade whipped butter but a basil aioli.
Mussel ceviche with star fruit, radish, seaweed and frozen peruvian pepper (the orange slushy substance)
Okay so I didn't get a good picture of this but... this was a local caught fish ceviche with cilantro, cucumber sauce and roasted peppercorns. This was absolutely delicious. Lima knows how to do ceviche.
This was debatably my favorite dish we were served, "ANDEAN TARTARE." Alpaca tenderloin, watercress emulsion, puffed grains, and all around amazing.
This dish was called "SACRED FOREST." The mushrooms were harvested from the Peruvian rain forest.
This course was another favorite of the night. It consisted of wood fired fish, ají negro sauce, chard, heart of palm, and muña.
At this point I was losing track of the number of dishes we had been served. But this course was grilled Peruvian grass fed beef, roasted ollucos, mushrooms, huacatay and shallots.
On to dessert! Finally... for our first dessert course we had white chocolate balls with frozen camu camu melon juice inside. They exploded when you bit into them and were a delicious combination of tart and savory.
This was my favorite dessert and it was roasted apple sorbet, guanabana cream, seaweed caramel and apple juice. It was amazing, tart, sweet and so flavorful.
The desserts just kept coming... this "plate" was called "ALL ABOUT THE CACAO." It included mucilage sorbet, chocoalate mousse, fruit of the cacao, and a caramel/chocolate crunchy on top. Oh, and it was served in a literal cacao pod!
This last course was really special and had four different components. The first was the Peruvian god, Ekeko, who is a true god of prosperity, abundance and good fortune. He is loaded with tiny parcels and is seen smoking money with outstretched arms. Our parcels had sugar in them. Often the miniature packages contain food and candy representing that all the basic needs will be taken care of. The second part was a miniature Yunsa Tree decorated with ribbons and balloons. Much bigger trees are decorated in real life during the The Harvest Dance of El Carmen. People decorate the trees with ribbons, balloons and confetti during a celebration that unites two cultures: the Andean and the African. In our little Yunsa Tree, there were two pitted gooseberries that we ate. The box of rocks really is a box of rocks except two of the "rocks" are actually chocolates (the ones with spices crumbled on top of them. The chocolates were gooseberry truffles. The last part of the dessert was a marshmallow grub in the shape of a peruvian rainforest caterpillar. The bug was passionfruit flavored.
That was it! It was seriously an amazing meal, I was SO stuffed afterwards and I highly recommend anyone visiting Lima to make a reservation and go!