Discover the latest gastronomic sensation of culinary Europe; the Nikkei cuisine, where Japan meets Peru. Go inside Maita and let yourself be taken to the wonderful flavors of these two combined countries. Get inspired by the colorful surroundings and be surprised by their varied menu. Come along and be surprised by the enthusiastic chef Michalis (Mike) Hatzidiakos and his partner Zoë Giroldi.
Not that often will I get positively triggered at first bite. Maita did it. One big flavor bomb in every part. Curious about which dishes came over? I would like to take you into the surprise menu that I was presented with.
New in the Lange Veerstraat in Haarlem, you’ll find Maita. A very lively place in the middle of the centrum where peace prevails. A smartly considered location because Maita is the first restaurant with the Nikkei cuisine in Haarlem. A fantastic intiative, about which later more.
Upon entry, there are a few things that stands out immediately. The first thing that caught your eye is the beautiful ceiling decoration. From the outside the resttaurant looks like a dark and colorless place. But as soon as you are inside you are surprised by the interior that is clearly decorerated with lots of color. A little fun side fact: the owners have manually plastered the ceiling themselves. It was a huge job, but the result is mind blowing and very original just like the menu. But that is another topic that I am going to tell you about soon.
Let’s go back to the menu. Because thit is a special story and does not sound well known for many of us, the Nikkei kitchen. This is not so strange, because Mike is the first chef that brought the Japanese-Peruvian fusion food to the Netherlands. A special cuisine where Peruvian ingredients were prepared with Japanese techniques. This because of the migration of Japanese to Peru over a century ago. The elegant and delicate cuisine of Japan with the freshness and spicy punch of Peru. Think fresh fish combined with limes, corn, aji peppers, yucca and the many varieties of potatoes. Flavors that bring out the best of each other.
We had the surprise menu, compiled by chef Michalis. We kicked off with – how could it be otherwise – steamed Edamame with seasalt flakes & togarashi. Consecutively were the 3 tasteful Ceviche dishes; a typically dish with fresh raw fish in a citrus juice. They made them with a perfectly prepared corvina and sea bass. Then it happened. The most delicious sushi roll ever was served. The Truffle Scallop roll. With avocado, fried unions, cucumber, kisame wasabi, torched japenese truffle mayo, shiso crisps. Now I know what they mean by a food orgasm. The end.
While we were savoring from the sushi roll, the following dishes were served. Pork belly with truffle and grilled chicken thighs. Where I especially enjoyed the chicken my friend chose the pork over the thighs. Tasted differ. Finally, dessert was a common favorite. Frozen coconut it was. Wait until you reach the bottom.