Lima (London)

One of the best things about living in a city is that there’s always a “next big thing”, and in 2014, one of said next big things on the London food scene was Peruvian food, and there was a MASSIVE surge in popularity of restaurants like Andina, Coya, Ceviche, Pachamama, and this one, Lima, which was actually the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to win a Michelin star.

It’s right in the heart of central London, in the Goodge Street/Tottenham Court Road area, which is clustered with restaurants boasting all kinds of cuisine, like Berners Tavern, The Pie Room at the Newman Arms, Lantana (see post here and here), Siam Central (see post here), Kikuchi…  Despite the Michelin star, it’s a pretty casual restaurant, decorated in bold, bright colours and Aztec prints. Definitely book ahead if you are thinking of coming here.

I apologise for the graininess of the photos but I’d had the longest day at uni so I couldn’t be bothered to bring out a proper camera. I wish I had, as the food was all very colourful and gorgeously presented on bright, patterned crockery, so my iPhone camera really didn’t do it justice. Oh well.

They provide you with complimentary bread while you peruse the menu. There’s nothing very special about the bread, but it was nice with the cool and creamy yogurt dip.

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A got the Puro de Inca cocktail.

Puro de Inca cocktail (£10)

Puro de Inca cocktail – lime & orange infused Pisco, triple sec, cranberry, passion fruit (£10)

 

It was pretty good, a great balance of sweet and sour, with the passionfruit flavour being quite pronounced. Unfortunately, at £10, it is pretty pricey for a cocktail.

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I got a glass of white instead to go with everything we were ordering, most of it being seafood-based. Not that I had to explain that, really, since you never really need a reason to order a glass of white TEEHEE.

Our starters arrived quite soon after we had placed our orders.

Octopus Olivo (£14) - braised octopus, organic white quinoa, botija olive

Octopus Olivo (£14) – braised octopus, organic white quinoa, botija olive

Most of you would know this by now – you cannot put octopus on a menu and expect Steph not to order it. This was delicious and definitely my favourite dish of the night. Because it’s braised, it’s really tender, but still retains a great bite and the right amount of chewiness, with all the flavour of a good sear. The pretty little purple dots are actually a puree of olives, and I really liked it with the octopus. Speaking just in terms of octopus dishes, I may quite possibly love the octopus at Duck & Waffle (see post here) just that much more though, as it 1) is marginally cheaper 2) comes in a larger portion size. But of course, that’s a completely unfair comparison since they are 2 entirely different restaurants. I just meant in octopus terms!!!!!

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Hand Dived Scallops (£14) - hand dived scallops, yellow ahi pepper, mina mint, corn

Hand Dived Scallops (£14) – hand dived scallops, yellow ahi pepper, mina mint, corn

I hadn’t quite expected the scallops to be served carpaccio-style but it was still good. It was fresh and extremely delicate and clean-tasting, and I especially liked the yellow ahi pepper, which was nice and sweet and didn’t overwhelm the scallops.

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Then it was time for our mains.

Suckling Pig (£24) - giant corn, piquillo pepper, green rocoto

Suckling Pig (£24) – giant corn, piquillo pepper, green rocoto

This was good. As tends to be the case with suckling pig, the meat here has that porky smell and taste, so if you’re not a fan of pork, you might want to steer clear of it. Both A and I loved it though. The skin was crisp without being too fatty, the meat was moist and flavourful, and the green rococo and corn puree, which was sweet and creamy but light, was a fabulous accompaniment.

Suckling Pig (£24) - giant corn, piquillo pepper, green rocoto

Paiche Amazonian Fish (£24) – seaweed brown butter, annato, white kiwicha, cacao Amazonia

This dish was recommended by our waiter, but was unfortunately my least favourite dish of the night. Don’t get me wrong – it was good, and I liked the dark, rich sauce with the delicate, flakey fish, but then I don’t think it tasted particularly unique. I wouldn’t order it again myself.

The desserts seemed interesting, and there were 2 I really wanted to try in particular.

Cacao Porcelana Piura 75%, cinnamon cream, blue potato (£8.50)

Cacao Porcelana Piura 75%, cinnamon cream, blue potato (£8.50)

This was a very rich dessert. The chocolate flavour is strong without being too bitter. Texture-wise, it’s smooth and creamy, moussily aerated but still thick and not too foamy. The blue potato crisps were interesting but I didn’t really care for them. If you like chocolate, you’ll probably like this.

Alfajores, dulce de leche ice-cream, chancaca honey (£8.50)

Alfajores, dulce de leche ice-cream, chancaca honey (£8.50)

I was really eggcited to try this as I love alfajores! And actually, just anything to do with dulce de leche in general. Alfajores is a dulce de leche sandwich cookie. This was just ok, unfortunately. The biscuit portion could have been more buttery, and they could have been more generous with the dulce de leche filling. The ice-cream didn’t taste particularly strongly of dulce de leche, so that was disappointing as well. I think I hyped this dessert up too much in my mind, but could you blame me? It has all the makings of a good dessert but it just wasn’t GREAT, which is a pity because I wanted so very much to like it.

Overall, a great experience. If I return, it’ll be for the octopus, the suckling pig and the chocolate dessert. A little pricey but it is a 1 Michelin-starred restaurant, and bearing that in mind, the portion-sizes really are quite reasonable for a 1-star. It’s nice for a change of pace, and even though I couldn’t dream of being able to pronounce or even recognise half the ingredients on the menu, it’s not at all intimidating, and the food is really all too easy to eat.

Ok peeps, I’m off now for the BEST VALENTINE’S DAY WEEKEND EVERRRRRRR. Don’t hate us cus you ain’t us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

LIMA

31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1JH

Opening times:

Monday to Saturday: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm (last seating)
Sunday: 12pm – 3:15pm (last order at 3.30pm)

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