For a taste of Peru in Fitzrovia try Lima


31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1JH Tel: 020 3002 2640

FOOD ****

Cost per person without wine: £45

PERUVIAN FOOD has soared in popularity in recent years, which would explain why Lima was packed out, even on a Monday night.

There are countless restaurants in London that offer bland menus; Lima is an exception and the buzzing atmosphere and friendly Peruvian staff have already made it a favourite of Fitzrovia’s discerning diners.

Most of the time you can’t understand a word of what you’re ordering, but this is all part of the fun.

Head chef Virgilio Martinez is a maverick. Having been the executive chef for the restaurant Astrid y Gaston, named as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, and having worked in notable kitchens in New York, Singapore and Spain, he is one experienced cook. His diverse background is apparent in the variety of his ingredients and combination of styles, which amalgamate to create a truly unique menu.

The starters, with one exception, are all raw. While not to everyone’s taste, this really allows the flavours of the dishes to shine. Beautifully rich tones are mixed with refreshing ingredients, as Algarrobo tree honey, Ghoa cress, shaved foie gras and shreddings of duck find harmony together.

The pick of the bunch, and one I would quite happily gorge daily, is the truly scrumptious confit of suckling pig, accompanied with roasted Amazonian cashew nuts, lentils and pear, accented with flavoursome crispy pork skin.

The food is as beautiful as it is delicious, with Martinez carefully considering every detail.

Conceived by London design firm March & White, the interior is elegant yet warm and the large abstract paintings adorning the walls give it a vibrant authenticity.

Lima finds the perfect combination between modern cuisine and traditional Peruvian ingredients and the imagination and creativity that Martinez brings is sure to keep people coming back. For those wishing to experience something different Lima will not disappoint.