Besides the newly discovered Brazilian BBQ joint, Hubby's favorite restaurant is a little place in Yamato called Keimi. It is a Peruvian restaurant- their specialty being lomo saltado.
Essentially it is a dish of stir-fried strips of beef with red onions and tomatoes- served over French fries. (I think the rice is the obligatory nod to Japanese tastes). It is very good, and Hubby orders it each and every time we go.
I have no room to talk- I order the same thing every time as well. I am in love with their ceviche.
This ceviche is made with a white fish and pulpo (octopus). I am not really a big fan of octopus, because it is usually too rubbery. But I really think that octopus was intended to be cooked in lime juice and served up with red onions, cilantro and whatever white fish they use (I'll have to ask what kind it is next time I go.) The octopus is actually a little tender, and so tasty. The red onions and the octopus give the ceviche a little bit of a purple tinge. My mouth is watering as I type, it is that delicious. If you like fish at all, this would be the dish for you.
The restaurant is on a side street off of a side street. In the States it would be called an "alleyway"- but it is a bonified street. It is one of those places that you find out about from a friend- who actually takes you there. No one gets directions, but someone actually drives them there or at least shows them the way. We remember how to get there by landmarks: "turn left at the bicycle shop, and then left again at the dance studio." You can't park at the actual place, you will need to back track and park at the pay lots you passed on the way.
When you walk in, you may or may not be greeted by the restaurant's owners right away. Sometimes you will sit there and wait a few minutes before someone pops their head out of the kitchen. Keimi is owned by a Japanese man- "Caesar" and his Peruvian wife- "Mili". They speak Japanese, Spanish and English- but mostly Spanish. They know us by name and we are always warmly greeted as old friends. Caesar is very charismatic and extremely intelligent. His Spanish is perfect, and I believe he speaks more language then he lets on. He loves loves to chat. Mili is sweet and always has a hug ready for you. I was told she taught Peruvian grammar at a Peruvian university. Last time I told that my son was ill- she made sure to tell me how to make him feel better. She is one of those women that is everyone's mom. I adore her.
After being greeted, we usually wait another 10 minutes before they take our orders. The food is served at all different times. We once went with a large group, some people were done with their food by the time others were finally being served. At any other place one might get angry- but for some reason it just makes the place feel unique and "quirky".
It is very hard to leave the place, even after the bill has been paid. Caesar and Mili act as if they don't want you to leave. They will talk to you all night if you let them. If you want to go somewhere quick, this is not the place to go.
In addition to the lomo saltado and ceviche, they also make empanadas on the weekends. Wow, they are the very best. They make their own drink made from purple corn- "chicha morada". Hubby loves this drink, it is very different, but very good. Caesar and Mili say it is good for people with high blood pressure and it lowers cholesterol. It is probably true- but we drink it for the taste. And they do serve Inca Cola- it seems to be what everyone looks for when they eat Peruvian. It is good, but I like the chicha morada better.
This place has become very dear to our hearts. I don't think we will ever find another restaurant experience like this anywhere else. This goes on our list of things we will miss when we leave Japan.