The Lima restaurant in London was where I had my first taste of Peruvian food last Saturday. Having heard some great reviews for this fairly new restaurant, I was extremely excited to see what the fuss was about and to try some South American cuisine that wasn’t Brazilian.
The restaurant is tucked away in a side street off of Oxford Street, a few minutes walk from Tottenham Court Road station. First impressions are good – a clean, simple exterior which suggests a casual but smart dining experience – just my sort of place.
The entrance area is a little narrow and cramped, and there are a lot of tables stuffed into a small-ish dining room on the ground floor. Diners should therefore come prepared to get cosy with their neighbours. Clever use of a skylight and strategically positioned mirrors do however make the room look more spacious than it actually is. There is also another dining area downstairs although I didn’t go down to see it and so, cannot comment on its size.
Upon being seated, we were presented with the menu. Most of the ingredients were completely foreign to me so I didn’t bother with doing much reading and just went with the dishes that had received particular mention on some of the more famous food blogs.
To kick things off however, we both ordered a couple of maracuyá pisco sours. For the uninitiated (like I was), this Peruvian national version of cocktails contains passionfruit and has a tart, foamy top. I don’t tend to drink much alcohol, but this was light and refreshing.
Our waiter came by shortly after with some complementary warm bread (in a variety of bright colours) and dip (which tasted wonderful, but have no idea about what it was made of!).
All of the dishes that we chose turned out to be amazing, both visually and taste-wise and pretty much everything was perfect. I rather enjoyed taking my camera out to snap photos of our food as they were all so beautifully presented, it was easy to make the shot look good.
I love all the bright, artsy colours used.
I normally like my mains meaty and large. However, in this case, though the portions at Lima were not huge, they actually worked rather well. Having such a nicely decorated plate in front of me made me eat slower, savouring my mouthfuls, filling me up nice and gradually.
Though I was pleasantly full by the time we finished our second course, there was no way I was going to miss out on the desserts. Look at those options!
While both of the dessert choices we ended up picking were amazing, I was craving chocolate and particularly loved the rich, smooth cacao and cream. Amazing.
Verdict: If the food in Peru is as good as what I had here, I need to book myself out on a flight there pronto! 🙂 There are lots of restaurants that I am yet to try in London, which means that it’s rare for me to return to the same restaurant more than once, unless it really stands out. The good price point and amazing food makes Lima one of those restaurants I will definitely be coming back to.