Peruvian food has been booming in London over the past couple of years, bringing vibrant flavours and creative dishes to the world’s top restaurant scene.
And at the head of that Andean revolution was Lima, a small smart-but-not-stuffy Fitzrovia restaurant, whose excellent work has since been rewarded with a Michelin star.
The restaurant itself, with its scandi-meets-South-America design and its very casual vibe is an absolute gem.
Industrial lamps, comfy olive green seats, beautiful pink orchids, wall-long art pieces and a stunning glass ceiling… Lima is basically a Pinterest-worthy masterpiece.
But then so are the cocktails (the proof is in the blogger! ?)…
Cuento del Diablo (Aji Chilli Infused Pisco. Triple Sec. Strawberry. Lime. Grenadine). A devil-ishly good little number!
The Maracuya and Rosa chilicanos.
All in all the perfect fuel for a much needed catch -up!
Together with this beautiful butterfish pre-appetizer.
So pretty we almost didn’t eat it (much like the rest of the menu to be honest)!
I’m never going to say no to free bread (hellooooo, I’m French, carbs are basically in my DNA!), and the chilli and mustard seed selection was just as colourful and flavourful as I’d hoped it would be.
The Seabass ceviche is a classic of Peruvian cuisine and an absolute must-order at Lima.
Delicate chunks of sea bass, with avocado, vibrant yellow tiger’s milk and crunchy cancha corn.
Stunning scallop causa (with yellow potato, achiote and aji limo).
And the most beautiful of them all: Artichoke Amazonia (red potato, avocado, passion fruit, achiote and pea shoots).
So pretty in fact that we weren’t sure whether to eat it or hang it on the walls (good things Binny was stronger than me on that one!)
One of my favourite was this simple, yet elegant dish of braised octopus.
Served with purple corn crisps and droplets of excellent olive oil.
Brought together by a few dollops of a really punchy, olive-based purple dressing.
Creative and comforting all at once, it’s one of Lima’s signature dishes and once I really recommend you try.
Duck magret cocona.
Served perfectly pink with roasted plums and soft, moist, more-ish corn cake.
Wafer thin Asparagus Peru (with tree tomato emulsion, sweet potato and heritage tomato).
And a some more of than Cusco corn cake. But I’m sure if I tell you this thing is pretty much like corn French toast, you’ll understand.
The good thing about Lima’s plates being rather on the lighter side is that we still had plenty of room for dessert!
Starting with the Chirimoya (custard apple) parfait (with chocolate crumb and blue potato crisps, plus some hidden dulche de leche caramel).
Following with Alfajores, and yet more dulche de leche (both in the form of ice cream and caramel cream).
Last but not least was the Avocado mousse, encased in a life-like chocolate casing.
Mind-bendingly good and the best proof of what a truly brilliant restaurant Lima is.
Its detractors might criticize the rather high price and small quantities. And I won’t say it’s not an expensive place. It is. But unlike many other places around the same price-point, the food you get for your money is delicious, but also healthy, creative and vibrant. Which I’m more than willing to pay the price for.
Lima, 31 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1JH