The Michelin Star Restaurant That's Better Than Ever

The Michelin Star Restaurant That's Better Than Ever

Peruvian food might be a mainstay on the London food scene, but when Lima opened in Fitzrovia back in 2012, it was as fresh and exciting as the ceviche it’s famed for. But the Michelin-starred restaurant isn’t one for staying still – with a clutch of new informal dishes on the menu, we headed in for the most fun Monday night we’ve had in ages.

The concept...

Award-winning Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez is at the helm of this Michelin-starred eatery (check him and his restaurant Central out on series three of Chef’s Table). While he no longer rattles the pans at this particular restaurant, Head Chef Robert Ortiz and his team are more than primed to take the reins. Until now, the restaurant’s stuck to a traditional three-course à la carte menu. But as of mid-April, the kitchen has embraced the small-plates culture and cooked up a new Spring/Summer menu that’s designed for sharing.

The setting...

Think Michelin-starred establishment, think white linen tablecloths and stiff service, right? Not here. The palette across Lima’s two floors is vivid – colourful paintings line the walls, and there’s a plethora of plants and large angled mirrors that make this modest space seem spacious. Its skylight ceiling adds further brightness, while in the warmer months the shop front throws open its doors to allow guests to dine al fresco. Service is informed, but informal – the plates come thick and fast, but you never feel rushed.

The food...

The team recommends four to five starters or main dishes between two, so we began with a two-bite sweetcorn and burrata corn cake while perusing the fairly substantial menu. From here we opted for hero dish sea bream ceviche with avocado, sweet potato and aji limo, and scallop tostada with sour cream, red amaranth and beetroot puree. They’re both light starters that match well with the flavoursome quinoa salad with burrata, radish and asparagus shavings (the restaurant caters extremely well for vegetarians). Menu mainstay salmon hot ceviche with tiger’s milk and algarrobina was a highlight (and one we’ll return for), while the seared beef pachamanca with rocket, olive oil and sea salt also hit the mark. On the night we visited, the kitchen had run out of dulce de leche, so we opted for the guava ice cream with yellow corn crisps and beetroot crumbs – it was as tasty as it was pretty, but didn’t quite live up to the heights of the savoury section.

The drinks...

We were once told a golden rule for drinking pisco sours: one is good, two is great and three is dangerous, so we stuck with the magic number two. Unsurprisingly, the bar team know how to knock up the best we’ve ever tasted outside of Peru – stirring together Luna de Ica Puro Quebranta pisco, lime juice, egg white, sugar and bitters. These pair well with the zingy, chilli-infused tiger’s milk and aji limo dressings on the various ceviche, but the wine list offers a selection of reasonably priced crisp whites that would also do the trick.

The verdict...

While Lima’s not cheap, it’s certainly affordable compared to many Michelin-starred joints – our dinner cost around £70pp for nine dishes and four cocktails shared between two. Given the protein-heavy leaning of Peruvian cooking, we left feeling satisfied rather than overly full, which is often the case when you opt for three courses. With such a varied menu, we’re already plotting a visit to sample the miso black cod and the suckling pig. Next time it’s sunny, we’ll be angling for one of those street-side seats, and perhaps another couple of those show-stopping pisco sours…
 
31 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia W1T 1JH

Visit LimaLondonGroup.com

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