Lima: Authentic Peruvian Cuisine in Fitzrovia
Shortly after my first experience of Peruvian cuisine at Coya, I got a chance to visit Lima, another Peruvian restaurant in Fitzrovia. The two couldn't be more different. Coya is all glitz and glamour, chandeliers and sumptuous surroundings, luring you to spend all your money while Lima has a more wholesome, authentic feel to it with all the focus on the food. The restaurant space has a simple clean design, the service is friendly and Lima seems to modestly downplay the fact that they have quite a prestigious pedigree with chef Virgilio Martinez. Virgilio Martinez is chef-patron of Central and previously executive chef at Astrid y Gastón – both highly rated restaurants in Lima, Peru.
I went a little overboard at Lima. Having fallen in love with ceviches and tiraditos at Coya and comforted by the fact that the prices at Lima are a bit cheaper, I took this as licence to order as much as I could. I like how the menu in Lima is short and concise – Coya has extensive menu which can be confusing and redundant at times.
I absolutely loved the Scallop Tiradito - slightly sweet scallops drenched in this gorgeous vibrant yellow aji pepper sauce. The Sea Bream Ceviche was brilliant as well – raw fish in Tiger’s milk (a citrus marinade of lime and chilli peppers) with red onion and corn.
Attempting to eat lightly I decided to have the organic Salmon Tiradito as a main while my dinner companion had the Hake with Rocoto pepper served on bed of potatoes. I had a bite of his dish and wished I had more! It was much too small a bite.
My Salmon Tiradito with Rocoto pepper, Samphire and Amaranth had a crazy psychedelic orange pink colour to it. I guess it's due to the Amaranth – a plant whose leaves give off a red dye. While I enjoyed the dish, I felt the sauce over-powered the salmon. There was too much of it and in this instance, less would have been better.
A special mention for their bread basket which had a delicious artichoke bread.
The funniest bit was when I got to the restaurant and couldn't figure out how to get in. For some reason, I thought the entrance of the apartment upstairs was the entrance to the restaurant and kept ringing their doorbell. I suppose it was because both doors were the same dark blue colour of the restaurant. It was only when someone inside opened the door that I realized how silly I was being. I entered Lima feeling so mortified and embarrassed – I spent a good 5 minutes outside utterly puzzled on how to get in!
Door identification issues aside, I urge you to check out Lima. The menu is truly exotic and It’s a wonderful way to discover new flavours and tastes. It’s totally inspired me to plan to visit Peru.
31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JH
Tel: 020 3002 2640
Tube: Tottenham Court Road/Goodge Street