Latigazo is a blow to the palate, a spark of flavor, a place where the diner experiences the explosion and intensity of Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, intense and soft flavors in a perfect synergy. The fusion of both concepts is the letter of introduction of Latigazo, located at 28 Infantas St. This is achieved thanks to the delicate and sophisticated menu of Latigazo in which Nikkei cuisine stands out as the common thread of all the elaborations.
"The unique journey of Latigazo's Peruvian-Japanese cuisine always begins with the selection of the best products," explains Jorge Rodríguez, its executive chef. His gastronomic proposal recalls memories, from achieving the original flavors enjoyed in the Peruvian countryside, to creating a plating that reflects the different elements of the place where he grew up.
Rodriguez's hand moves with subtlety, but with skill, in his elaborations, handling the product with solvency before the attentive gaze of the diners, who have the opportunity to watch him cook, thanks to his open kitchen, but also thanks to one of his star dishes: ceviche. The chef prepares the three ceviches of his menu in the dining room, before the eyes of the diners, who discover part of the culinary essence of the Latin American country.
Madrid, June 2023. Surrounded by mountains, in the middle of a natural landscape, where the lush vegetation stands out, sits the valley of Condebamba, located in Cajamarca, Peru. A place where agriculture and work in the fields nourish daily life, and a town where Jorge Rodríguez, executive chef of Latigazo, the new Nikkei cuisine restaurant in Madrid, was born and raised.
Rodriguez transfers to his cooking the knowledge acquired in his childhood and adolescence, during the years he worked in his family's fields, until he was 16 years old, learning to cultivate everything that later reaches the kitchen, foods used in Peruvian gastronomy such as chili peppers, rocotos, avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes or cassava. An experience that endorses him as an undisputed connoisseur of the exquisiteness of the quality product, now the protagonist of his elaborations. Therefore, his gastronomic proposal recalls memories, from achieving the original flavors enjoyed in the countryside, to creating a plate that reflects the different elements of the place where he grew up. In this way, he bets on a decoration that generates a trip to the past, full of colors and original flavors. María Villalón has been in charge of leading the decoration project in the establishment, creating a unique space.
And if there is a reference place for its cuisine in Latin America, that is Peru, cradle of some of the most internationally recognized dishes. And if there is a type of gastronomy that also triumphs worldwide, it is Japanese cuisine, in all its versions. The two come together to create Nikkei cuisine, the central core of Latigazo's menu. Latigazo is a blow to the palate, a spark of flavor, a place where the diner experiences the explosion and intensity of Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, intense and soft flavors in a perfect synergy.
The fusion of both concepts is the letter of introduction of Latigazo, located at 28 Infantas Street. This is achieved thanks to the delicate and sophisticated menu of Latigazo in which Nikkei cuisine stands out as the common thread of all the elaborations.
The chef's history with gastronomy begins in his hometown and continues in the family restaurant, where he started working at the age of 17, a seafood restaurant where he learned to prepare traditional Peruvian dishes such as ceviche or parihuela.
Jorge Rodríguez had his first approach to avant-garde cuisine in his native Peru, where he worked in some of the best five-star hotels in the country, such as Raddison de Lima, Wyndham, Hilton Lima or Thunderbird, where he learned the technique and processes of more modern elaborations, an apprenticeship that is now embodied in Latigazo.
Rodriguez's hand moves with subtlety, but with skill, in his elaborations, handling the product with confidence before the attentive gaze of diners, who have the opportunity to watch him cook, thanks to his open kitchen, but also thanks to one of his star dishes: the ceviche. The chef prepares the three ceviches of his menu in the dining room, before the eyes of the diners, who discover part of the culinary essence of the Latin American country with Japanese essence. He does it thanks to a cart that pretends to emulate the traditional street food stands of Peru "so common in everyday life". In the cart, the chef prepares the product, refines it with care and prepares it from scratch until he manages to make the perfect ceviche, which can be chosen from the Ceviche Limeño (sea bass, leche de tigre, aji limo, basil oil, cancha corn, corn, sweet corn, sweet potato puree and cilantro sprouts), the Ceviche Kiro (Corvina, leche de tigre, aji limo, basil oil, cancha corn, corn, sweet potato puree and cilantro sprouts; Ceviche Kiro (sea bass, tiger's milk, smoked yellow chili, Buddha's ear, crispy squid, sweet potato puree, cancha, corn and coriander sprouts); and Ceviche Tsurai (sea bass, shrimp, squid, rocoto and miso tiger's milk, togarashi, corn, zarandaja and horseradish sprouts).
The Tsurai Ceviche stands out, a dish that alludes to the Japanese spicy dish known as Tsurai. The leche de tigre that accompanies this dish is a more intense rocoto, a Peruvian chili bell pepper, and miso, a spice native to Japan. This fusion, not easily found in other restaurants in Madrid, makes the dish more exotic and intense in flavor.
Likewise, the quality of the raw materials used manages to take the diner to an experience never lived before. "The unique journey of the Peruvian-Japanese cuisine of La Tatigazo always begins with the selection of the best products", Jorge Rodriguez explains. An example of this are its hot dishes, such as the Kaen (beef tenderloin, oriental sauce, Shitakes and pack cho and wok, yellow potato, rice with corn and cilantro sprouts); the Gohan Nikkei (crispy pork, jasmine rice, bean sprouts, Chinese eggplant and snow peas in wok, fried banana, soy sprouts and passion fruit char siu) or the Ahiru (duck breast confit in yakiniku, aji panca, huacatay, chicha de jora, rice, loche, cilantro, yellow chili, tiger's milk, cucumber chalaquita and sprouts).
On the Japanese side, and with sushi as the protagonist, Rodriguez has created the Makimono Roll, which is a fusion with a Japanese base accompanied by Peruvian touches. A preparation that combines the traditional sushi rice with shrimp and a slice of sirloin steak, accompanied by a traditional sauce in Peruvian cuisine, is the "salsa anticuchera" made from "aji panca" which is a chili bell pepper native to Peru, and also a Peruvian yellow chili mayonnaise and sesame paste.
Additionally, Jorge Rodriguez creates a menu with products of the day such as hamachi, scallops, caviar, wugyu, crayfish, snow craby and seasonal products. This allows the chef to experiment creatively every day in the kitchen.
The journey around Peru and Japan continues in the dining room, where the menu is amplified while maintaining the concept thanks to a wide proposal of liquid and cocktail menu by Francesco Azabache, who proposes a cocktail bar based on classic cocktails, but giving them an original touch inspired by the cultures of Japan and Peru. In this way he reflects their beliefs and traditions, which can be perceived in the different flavors and presentation.
Among the cocktails are the "Penishirin", a fruity smoked cocktail for the most demanding palates, based on bourbon, mezcal, pear, ginger, yuzu, mead and wasabi. With more citrus touches, Francesco Azabache proposes the "Kaori", with gin, italicus, watermelon, strawberries, basil and aloe vera. Finally, much more spicy is the "Raymi Frutal", made with rum, chica de jora, citrus, pineapple, tonka bean, cocoa truffle, corn and gold.