Family-Run Business Offers A Taste Of Peru
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For authentic Peruvian cuisine, you don’t have to go overseas. Instead, check out Mimi’s Place in Honolulu. (See update about restaurant location.) Owned by Mimi Rivasplata, the quaint restaurant is well known for serving up popular Peruvian dishes using ingredients imported from Peru, according to Mimi’s grandson — and chef — Giancarlo Legrand.
For starters, Legrand recommends Papa a la Huancaina ($11), a traditional Peruvian dish comprising potato slices covered with a creamy Huancaina sauce.
“It features thick-cut potatoes, and it has a traditional queso fresco, milk and cream cheese sauce,” Legrand says. “It’s a little spicy; we put a boiled egg and olive on top. This is one of our most popular appetizers.”
Tamales Criollos Peruanos ($9) — or chicken tamales — is another frequently ordered appetizer.
“It’s a traditional corn tamale,” Legrand explains. “We grind and blend the corn and stuff it with olives, egg, chicken and some seasoning. We wrap it in a banana leaf and let that boil under steam for about an hour. We then make a traditional onion sauce — using lime, salt, chili and cilantro — and mix that together with a thin-cut onion. We usually put it on the side or on top of the tamale.
“Customers also like our Ceviche de Pescado ($21), which features our catch of the day,” Leg-rand adds. “Right now, it’s a lime-cooked mahi mahi. We mix it together with cut red onions and cilantro, and let it marinate for a few minutes. The lime cooks the fish thoroughly, and we serve it with a side of Peruvian corn and a slice of yam.”
For hungry customers looking for a hearty entree, Legrand suggests Seco de Cordero ($23).
“Cordero is another word for ‘lamb,'” he says. “We offer the lamb for dinner — it’s served on top of Peruvian beans with some white rice. For lunch, if people don’t want lamb, we offer a beef version called Seco de Carne ($13). The beef entree is slightly different; it comes with a side of rice and salad.
“For both versions, we cut the meat into thick pieces and marinate it in vinegar, cumin, salt, pepper, onion and some other seasonings,” Legrand shares. “We slow-cook the meat with a blended cilantro sauce for about half an hour, until the meat is tender. This is a very traditional plate in Peru; it’s one of our most popular entrees.”
RESTAURANT UPDATE : Mimi’s is in the process of moving to a yet-to-be-determined new location. Customers are encouraged to call owner Mimi Rivasplata at 358-1475 for updates on the eatery’s new address.