Sabor has lived on the Essex Road since 2004. Its name means flavour, and that’s exactly what it delivers: the taste of Latin America. Including Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina in its culinary repertoire, you can expect empanadas, ceviches, palm-heart salads and papaya relish from Colombian national Esnayder Cuartas.
108 Essex Road, N1 8LX, www.sabor.co.uk
El Rincon Quiteno is a gem of a neighbourhood restaurant. It’s a Bolivian and Ecuadorian restaurant that offers a generous spirit and portions. Expect plenty of beans, plaintain and rice. Especially good are the saltenas (Bolivian Cornish pasty). If you don’t have time for a sit down meal, grab some treats from the deli.
235 Holloway Road, N7 8HG, 020 7700 3670
You may not have considered Peruvian food but by next year, you probably will, especially with El Bulli’s Ferran Adria making a film about Peruvian cuisine. Two Peruvian restaurants are opening next spring – Ceviche and Lima. Soon London will be awash with the citrus-marinated fish dish, ceviche, aji (chilli pepper) – the backbone of Peruvian cooking and the Pisco Sour cocktail.
Martin Morales and head chef Alejandro Bello will bring ceviche and small sharing plates to Soho in March next year. Think fish cold-cooked in “tiger’s milk” – the lime juice and Peruvian aji chilli marinade, anticuchos (marinated beef heart BBQ brochettes) and causas (potato cakes stuffed with fresh crab and prawns). www.cevicheuk.com
Virgilio Martinez is the chef patron of Central restaurant in Lima and has previously worked with Gastón Acurio at top Lima restaurant Astrid y Gaston serving Nueva Andina cuisine. To London he brings his cevichería, Lima, which will serve ceviche and regional dishes such as shrimp chupe, anticuchos and causas.
Brazilian food is having a good moment. There’s Alex Atala with his fine dining Sao Paulo restaurant D.O.M, which recently climbed to seventh place in the list of San Pellegrino’s top 50 restaurants in the world. And then there’s Cabana, which opens this month, and promises to bring the food and culture of Sao Paolo to our fair shores. The Rio-born David Ponté (interview above) and Jamie Barber are bringing a churrascaria that will serve Brazilian street snacks, like pao de queijo cheese dough balls. Colour-coded skewers will be walked round offering choices such as baby back sticky ribs and chimichurri butterflied rump steak. The Stratford branch opened yesterday, and St Giles branch opens next Wednesday.
Cabana, 7 Central Saint Giles Piazza, WC2H 8AB, www.cabana-brasil.com
De La Panza in Islington follows in the tradition of Argentinean bodegónes – informal but sociable restaurants. “El Toro” Gaston Carrano is the brains behind Buen Ayre – the Broadway Market favourite famous for their bife de chorizo (sirloin) and lomo (fillet) from the parilla. Argentina has been famous for its steak, but this place is about informality and food that has survived generations. There will be steak, of course, and stews, tapas, pistos, escabeches and tartas. The half Argentinean owner, George Rockett, says “I’ve always wanted to open a place like this with informal, delicious food – a real neighbourhood gem.” De La Panza, 105-107 Southgate Road, N1 3JS. Additional research: Caty Hirst