Peruvian cuisine has had London’s foodie scene salivating into their ceviche for a few years now, and Lima has earned stalwart credentials during the boom. That’s because, as the sister restaurant to Central – currently coming in sixth at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, and based in actual Lima – it’s genetically geared for success. Created by chef and restaurateur Virgilio Martínez and head chef Robert Ortiz, its vibrant, authentic-yet-contemporary Peruvian dishes have defended a Michelin star since 2013.
Modern and welcoming, tightly packed rustic wooden tables offer a sense of intimacy, both in proximity to your neighbour and by the relaxed, unfussy set up. Charming earthenware plates bolster the aesthetic of each colourful, intricately styled dish (you will want to Insta them all, naturally), while the evening atmosphere was calm during Brummell’s visit, despite the sharing element of each meal and the dangerously drinkable pisco sours (try the maracuya – that’s passion fruit – version for a special twist).
Expect a mix of traditional and modern Peruvian dishes, where exotic South American ingredients offer tastes and textures that will be pleasantly unfamiliar to many palates. The real showstopper here is the ceviche, and the sea bream offering with aji limo (a Peruvian citrus-flavoured chilli) was light and refreshing. Ordering is a joint effort, as most dishes are designed to share, and our waiter recommended picking three to four dishes per person to hit the spot. Pick from snacks (the corn cake – a mini loaf of ground sweetcorn topped with burrata – was an unexpected, moreish treat), smaller, lighter plates and larger main dishes. The lamb seco was hearty comfort food at its best, with a bed of quinoa and radish supporting ‘dumplings’ filled with lamb. And dessert wasn’t any less inventive with the avocado and rocoto pepper mousse shaped into a rather convincing avocado half for a ‘healthy’ and delicious treat.
Dinner for two with drinks, £100
Whether you are already a fan of the fresh, bold Peruvian flavours or you feel it’s high time you discovered them – Lima is a safe bet. Perfect for a night out with friends, or an intimate meal for two, this is an experience you will want to savour.
31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JH, limalondongroup.com