The Call of the Condor
Though it had already well and truly gripped the remainder of the world, the Peruvian cuisine craze seemed to have sidestepped Tokyo until this past March, when new Harajuku restaurant Bépocah flung open its canary yellow doors. With a chef brought in directly from Lima and a firm focus on all the traditional culinary favourites, Bépocah confirmed that what the Japanese capital may have lacked in food fashion, it certainly made up for in vigour, with the warm, split-level outing proving an instant hit with local drink-and-diners.
A restaurant daren’t call itself Peruvian without a few key ingredients and Bépocah pushes all the buttons – a sizable list of ceviches including the classic leche de tigre-steeped fish, as well as mixed seafood variations; a selection of causas (potato cakes) finished with amongst other toppings crab confit and fried fish; grilled beef-heart skewers; plus hearty mains spanning simmering meat stews, steamed whole sea bream, and ‘tacu tacu con salsa de mariscos’ (rice and beans stir-fried with octopus, shrimp and calamari). Add in a fittingly Pisco-heavy cocktail list (including a solid Sour) and neat group of imported Peruvian beers (Cusqueña) and though a long time coming, this is one trend that looks set to stay.