Lima serves 'beautiful' fusion food from Peru's rich culture

Aug 8, 2012

For those with an adventurous palate, the dishes at Lima are a revelation and great to look at

What you need to know
Lima is a new Peruvian restaurant in Fitzrovia, London. It is run by Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez, who is also the patron chef of Central restaurant in Lima, Peru. Martinez was previously executive chef at Astrid y Gaston, which features on San Pellegrino's World's Best Restaurants list.

The restaurant serves modern Peruvian fusion food, using traditional wild produce from Peru and influences from the country's multicultural history. The menu includes dishes such as ceviche (spicy marinated raw fish), suckling pig served with Amazon cashews, and a dessert of dulce de leche made with the Peruvian aphrodisiac herb maca. A bar serves classic Peruvian cocktails such as Pisco Sour.
Dinner costs around £60 per head with wine, including service. There's a three-course set lunch menu for £20. 31 Rathbone Place, W1. Tel. 020 3002 2640.

What the critics like
With three new Peruvian restaurants opening in London in a short space of time, Peruvian food is being touted as the new Catalan, says Fay Maschler in the Evening Standard - or is it Mexican? Either way, the dishes at Lima are "a revelation". They are arrestingly beautiful due to a vivid use of natural colours. Japanese-inspired salmon tiraditos (raw fish cut more thinly than ceviche) combined with rocoto aji (yellow) pepper, organic radish, celery and samphire was "challengingly emphatic and also visually enticing". The potato dishes "would convert the most ardent carb-avoider".

Virgilio Martinez is one of Peru's best exports since the potato, says Guy Diamond in Time Out. His dishes use a wide range of chillies imaginatively to give colour as well as unusual flavour nuances. The flavour pairings don't cease to surprise, and there is also "a beautifully designed dining room to admire, with a huge skylight that douses you in light as if you've just arrived at Machu Picchu".

Every dish at Lima is astonishingly good, says food blog Cheese and Biscuits. But "the star of the evening" is a plate of the best suckling pig served with potatoes.

What they don't like
For some people the dishes may be a bit too weird, says Guy Diamond in Time Out. Blue potato is served with a chocolate dessert. "To eat here you either have to learn a whole new vocabulary, or just sit back and enjoy the ride."

Sign up for our daily newsletter