My friend Bruno and his wife Natsue (with another investing partner) have opened a modern Peruvian restaurant in Harajuku called Bepocah. The name is an original combination of the owner's names and the word "epoch" (The beginning of a distinctive period in the history of someone or something). It is located at 2-17-6 Jingumae (03-6804-1377) not far from where I used to live in Harajuku. The restaurant will be open for business from March 21st 2013.
My dinning companions Robert and Hiroko.
The soft opening dining menu started with Cebiche de chita: tai (sea bream), uni (sea urchin), Peruvian corn, onions, and sweet potato in lemon marinade. Peruvian ceviche is distinctive from other varieties I've had: Mexican and Panamanian due to the corn and sweet potato. This is the freshest uni I've tasted and I might actually like it.
From left to right: Causa de rocoto: pureed potato and Peruvian spicy red bell pepper topped with crab meat, Tiradito de chit: sea bream sashimi with a mellow spicy yellow bell pepper sauce, Mini papa rellena: stuffed potato with pork filling (The dish is a baked potato dough into which a filling made of chopped beef and onions, whole olives, hard boiled eggs, cumin and other spices is stuffed. Once prepared, the obloid mass is deep fried. Potato flour is often added to give greater consistency to the dough.), Pulpo a la parrilla: grilled baby octopus on potato puree.
A close up of Mini papa rellena and Pulpo a la parrilla.
From left to right: Aji de gallina: yellow pepper chili chicken on a bed of rice, Lomo saltado: marinated sirloin stir fried with red onions, parsley and tomatoes over home fries, Seco con tacu tacu: beans and pan fried steak with cilantro sauce.
Gelato de aguaymanto: gelato made with "Chinese lantern" (aka physalis alkekengi), which apparenlty is native to Japan as well as South America and grows in Nagano.
Communal tables in the lounge on the first floor.
Bruno behind his bar, well-stocked with pisco.
It is a great space stylishly decorated. The food was beautifully presented and made from from fresh, high quality ingredients. I liked the variety of tastes and textures presented in each tasting course. It is a good overview of traditional Peruvian favorites according to my limited experience. Bruno tells me the basic menu is set, but that the chef (brought over from Lima) will create seasonal entrees and will offer more adventurous set menu options. I can't wait to go back once they've opened.