If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of Peruvian cuisine. When I visited Peru at the end of 2015, I had a long list of restaurants to try in Lima. I especially wanted to eat all the ceviche since it’s probably among my top 3 favourite dishes. While I was there, I also visited Maido, a restaurant that ranks at number 13 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List and at number 2 on Latin Americas’s 50 Best Restaurants. Maido’s chef Mitsuharu Tsumura is a master in Nikkei cuisine, which combines techniques and flavours of Japan’s culinary repertoire to Peru’s flavours and ingredients. I had the wonderful Nikkei experience tasting menu at Maido, which I will eventually write about on this blog, but for now, let’s move back to Montreal and the newly opened Tiradito.
Triadito is Montreal’s first foray into Nikkei cuisine and a venture from chef Marcel Larrea, formerly of Mescla. It’s been open for a few months now and has garnered effusive and well-deserved reviews lately in the city’s largest newspapers. The first thing you notice when you walk into Tiradito is the fact that there are no tables. The seating is organized around a large bar that takes up most of the space. There is one communal table in the back that can provide a more traditional seating arrangement. Behind the bar, several cooks are always busy prepping food and mixing drinks. There’s also a large open kitchen at the back end of the bar. A large, stylized, red neon condor–the restaurant’s emblem–presides over the dining room.
This particular seating arrangement is conducive to great conversations with the people preparing your dinner. The service is friendly and unpretentious and the chefs are eager to explain the menu and recommend dishes. The menu is divided into meat, vegetable and fish dishes. All plates are small and meant to be shared. If you’re a fan of Peruvian cuisine, you’ll find several classic dishes on the menu such as papas rellenas, anticuchos, causas and of course, my favourite, ceviche! We started the night with Pisco sours, a typical Peruvian cocktail made by mixing pisco, citrus, egg whites and a drop of bitters. Refreshing and potent, Tiradito’s version is excellent.
We then proceeded to order several dishes, starting with the classic fish ceviche. Tangy, fresh, slightly spicy and served with a side of roasted Peruvian corn, the white fish is lightly cured in citrus and served with thin slices of red onion and ají amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper). The ceviche is also served with a spoon because you’re going to want to lap that leche de tigre (tiger’s milk – the marinade) up! The ceviche was followed by the smoked salmon causa, traditionally a hearty, mashed potato dish transformed into an elegant and dainty bouchée at Tiradito. Black pudding empanadas, Parmesan scallops, and other delightful delicacies followed, culminating in my favourite dish of the night, the BBQ duck butifarra served on a steamed bun and topped with salsa criollo (a mix of thinly sliced onions, peppers and herbs in a citrus marinade). The bun was soft and melted in the mouth, the duck was perfectly cooked and the zesty salsa criollo was a pleasant contrast to the duck’s richness and sweetness. A most perfect bite! You’re going to want to order your very own butifarra. No sharing on this one!
I highly recommend a trip to downtown Montreal where Tiradito can take you on a culinary discovery of Peru, one of my favourite gastronomic destination.
1076 Bleury Street, Montreal
+1 514 866 6776
Tuesday to Saturday: 5pm – 11pm
Soon to open for lunch so watch their social media for the announcement.
Read all about my Peruvian adventures, from the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Lima’s best restaurants.