For many, Peru equals Incas, Lamas and panpipes. Well, for about a dozen years you can also rely on its gastronomy that quickly conquered the whole world, especially thanks to Gaston Acurio’s success and his 46 restaurants. Already present in South America and dubbed by Alain Ducasse, the chef opens Manko by Gaston Acurio, a stone’s throw from Plaza Ahénée***.
It’s the former Drouot auction house that Gaston Acurio chose to transform into a Maya temple of the Parisian Golden Triangle, Manko being a reference to the Sun god’s son and founder of the Inca people. The breathtaking décor has been created by architect Laura Gonzalez and is filled with gilts and wood. Shorty after we sat, we already feel elsewhere, somewhere between Cusco and the Machu Picchu.
For this Parisian table, chef Acurio decide to give the keys of the kitchen to chef Ruben Escudero who was already working in his first restaurant open in Lima, Astrid y Gaston. Manko is a Peruvian family business, warm and open to all patrons. We immediately feel comfortable and it’s not this pisco cocktail sprinkled with gold glitters that will reverse the trend.
Go for it, take the Para Picar menu and let yourselves be carried by the waiters’ enthusiasm and pride to bring such wonderful plates. The most wonderful meager ceviche with choclo corn bathing in leche de tigre: diced, the fish is firm mixed with the explosive sourness of this chili-lemon marinade are perfect to kick things off. Chef Escudero’s secret: marinating the diced fish very quickly, at the last minute to cook the flesh only partially.
Another specialty that you want to try, the causas, cold mashed potatoes with lemon and yellow chili paste, served here like a rink with many elements on top. Everything works in the plate and several forkfuls are needed to grasp all the flavors it includes.
What we like here is that all the plates are fit to be shared. You can taste everything, and we often end up disputing the last bite of grilled squids or Peruvian grand cru chocolate mousse. The Avenue Montaigne, its restaurant with white tablecloths and quiet atmosphere seem so far. At Manko, we experience cuisine with passion and it’s contagious. Here’s our favorite of the week and certainly of the year.
Manko by Gaston Acurio
15 Avenue Montaigne – 75008 Paris
Bookings: +33 (0)1 82 28 00 15
Open from Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner and Saturday, starting from 6 p.m.
Cabaret on Friday and Saturday evening, from 11 p.m.
Manko by Gaston Acurio
15 Avenue Montaigne
75008 Paris 8
Alma Marceau (ligne 9)
desserts: 12-14 €
entrées: 12-17 €
grillades: 19-28 €
plats: 29-42 €
menu 5 plats et dessert: 65 €