Central

Lima, Peru

+3 more
Price level
Central

Expert recommendation

Central, led by the genius vision of chef Virgilio Martinez, is hard to compare with any other fine dining restaurant. Central is more than just a restaurant, it really is a universe on its own. What Central is doing with their Mater initiative is first and foremost exploration. Exploration of the vast and versatile Peruvian terroir, traditions, ingredients and skills. That's why it's hard to compare the menu at Central with any other fine dining place - because it's definitely not just about the pleasure of tasty food and impeccable service, it's a trip down to the depths of the sea where you find the sweetest, gigantic sea urchins, and a stroll along the coast with all the tiny clams and gooey seaweed, a hike up to the plains with 55 different varieties of corn and 4.000 (!) different kinds of tubers, a vertigo-inducing exploration of the Andes, and back down to the jungles of the Amazon with out-of-this-world looking fish creatures that feed on exotic fruit names you will NOT remember. Central is a restaurant, a laboratory, a creative hub, a gallery even, paying so much attention to every single detail, from the spoons carved from Amazonian wood to ceramics that best display the colorful dishes, from how the light reflects from the long chef's table to the way the dishes are presented, be it with the almost obscenely sexy sea urchin tongues and goose barnacles or with the leather made of paiche fish skin. There are flowers and pearls of "cushoro" bacteria (Andean caviar), there are octopus tentacles, all petrified into a sculpture, distillates from Mil served in custom-made ceramic bottles, recycled paper with petals and leaves used instead of mats, tiny spoons and forks with butterflies and twigs and "Central" logo, all created by the Central team led by the genius vision of chef Virgilio Martinez. It certainly is debatable which restaurant deserves to be called "the best one in the world", for me, the term has always been the ability of the restaurant to transcend the pure dining aspect, to leave an enduring mark. And Central without a doubt fits that criteria.

No. 1 on World’s 50 Best in 2023. Fine dining by Virgilio Martínez, showcasing Peruvian nature and indigenous ingredients

Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco 15063, Peru

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