Trends and tropes in the U.K’s dining scene come in tremors. Foraging, minimalism and plates of delicate precision gave way to big, barbecued, bloke food and beer in the blink of an eye. Right now, a more respectful, Basque style of cooking whole fish over coals is enjoying some time in the firelight, and green, clean eating is blooming.
Although a fairly recent addition to the capital’s culinary landscape, London’s love affair with Peruvian food doesn’t look like it’ll be letting up any time soon. Light, vibrant plates of colour and zip, the use of unknown ingredients (aguaymanto anyone?) and a cooking style which feels both health conscious and generous, all seem to be chiming succinctly with the current foodie zeitgeist.
With news just in that Lima, arguably the best Peruvian joint in town, has changed its menu to a more casual format, we thought it was the perfect time to revisit our favourite Peruvian joints in the capital. So, here are 5 IDEAL places to enjoy Peruvian food in London.
Lima has decided to ditch it’s traditional a la carte menu in favour of more accesible and affordable sharing plates; a reaction to the current consumer demand for more laid back dining options. We love Lima, it has a unique style and rhythm that makes its billing as one the hottest tickets in town seem like an understatement. The Chef behind the restaurant, Virgilio Martinez, has repeatedly been named on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants with his restaurant, Central. If you want to experience one of the most influential cuisines in the world right now without spending tons on a flight to South America, then Lima is the place to go.
The younger sibling of the above, Lima Floral, is in no way a pale spin off of its Michelin starred sister. With two AA Rosettes and rave reviews far and wide, this fantastic restaurant is making a name all for itself in the capital city. It also has a Pisco bar which is renowned for serving some of the best cocktails in the capital – just don’t blame us for your hangover tomorrow.
CEVICHE, OLD STREET
With many of the best Peruvian restaurants in the Capital under the watchful eye of Chef Martin Morales, it could be said that he has somewhat of a monopoly on the Peruvain food scene in London. And rightly so – he is after all a well-known ambassador of Peruvian food and arts. Ceviche is named after Peru’s national dish, and what never fails to impress us is how many versions of Ceviche there are; unique, light and downright celebratory of the primary ingredient.
The charcoal grill and rotisserie is one of the many highlights here. Order the grilled Ibérico pork, served with smoked chilli and jora corn brew sauce, Andean corn and coriander purée – it’s a plate of Peruvian perfection. Oh, and we’ve just been told they host Pisco Cocktail Masterclasses – where do we sign up?
Located in the heart of hip and happening Shoreditch, where restaurants come to thrive, you’ll find this groovy joint. Another one from Martin Morales, this one is especially famous for its brunch; the sweet potato pancakes with coconut whipped cream a particular highlight. It’s a great place to take your gluten free chums.
Pssst, Hey you, Peruvian food lover. We implore you to buy the cookbook from Andina; so much fun to browse through on one of those rainy days in England – with recipes and stories that will take you to the heart of the Andes and far, far away from the grey and miserable British weather.
SENOR CEVICHE SOHO
Harry Edmeades leaned from the best at Lima (the city!)’s renowned ceviche restaurant El Mercado. When he came back he launched Don Ceviche, a popular pop-up and then bricks and mortar restaurant Senor Ceviche in Soho. From street food snacks to Peruvian barbecue and of course ceviche, Senor Ceviche in Soho has a wide repertoire of Peruvian cuisine, and does it well.