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Lima, Fitzrovia, London

limster Jul 28, 2012 10:00 AM

Excellent ceviche - bite sized slabs of sea bass that are firm, but yielding nicely on the bite, flavoursome, and the marinate elegantly balanced, the acidity smooth and rounded rather than harsh, and aromatic with herbs, including a shiso-like flavour, and sweet with onion. Crunchy small ears of toasted corn (canchita) provide bites of textural counterpoint and a toasty, nutty flavour for contrast.

Tiraditos of sliced bay scallops had a similar balanced marinate, and the scallops fresh, with a good depth of sweetness tempered by a very mild oceany flavour. Crunchy shreds of sweet potato provided additional textural contrasts. But the flavour of aji amarillo, one of the many iconic ingredient that make Peruvian cuisine so profound, is muted, giving a nuanced tangy gloss to the dish, rather than a full on flavour that one sees at Tierra Peru.

Bulbs and stalks of artichokes, also marinated, ceviche like, are lovely, and given bright splashes of dark pink and yellow, from vegetable-based based sauces, with occasional perky flavours from herbs and spices. Very enjoyable.

Crab comes as smallish clumps of snow on a bed of sauces and some variety of dense andean potato. Herbs -- shiso and mint like (huacatay?) -- dance on the edges of flavour, along with kiwicha, a quinoa like grain, crunchy and tobiko-like in its pop. The dish seemed dominated by the potato, more central to Peru, and the crab relegated to a supporting role, it's delicate nature slightly overwhelmed by the other more complex flavour in the dish.

Suckling pig is superb. Moist, supple, slippery, deeply flavoured, a thin surface of crispy skin. Perked up by the pear puree, punctuated with a the clean almost turnip-like potato. One of the best renditions of pork I've had in London.

A smooth and soft coffee ice cream, around it wonderful and delicate crumbs, crunchy sandy crispy, of fine toasted strands of coconut, and other things.

A dense fudgy brownie-like pieces of chocolate made with Porcelana cacao, a rare type of criollo bean from Venezuela, the flavour here nicely balanced but with a slightly deeper emphasis on the fruity qualities. Crunch from thin crisps of potato, and dabs of tropical fruit that come together seamlessly with the chocolate.

Some outstanding dishes, and some above average ones. Slightly expensive main courses considering the smallish portion (£20ish for the suckling pig, similar in portion size to Quo Vadis), but if one puts together 2-3 starters, a main course and dessert, it's within the realm of what other restaurants executing at a similar level might charge for a 5 course tasting menu.

Will like to see how this place evolves, menu has changed at least once so far.

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  1. abby d RE: limster Jul 30, 2012 04:50 AM

    I went last week. Star dishes were the scallop tiradito and the seabass ceviche with tiger milk, crispy onions and crispy corn kernels which were both wonderfully fresh with interesting layers of flavour. We found the artichoke starter quite bland in comparison.

    For mains we had suckling pig with lentils and pear (which was excellent but I didn’t pick up any particularly Peruvian influence) plus lamb shoulder with black quinoa and roasted grapes (which was less good – the lamb was lacking in texture – just a mushy mess - and the flavours were a bit muddied. The grapes were divisive, with my friend really disliking them as they were so sharp).

    No pud for me but my friend had a chocolate truffle pudding with mango sorbet and blue potato crisps – the sorbet was flavourless but the chocolate was good.

    Lovely cocktails – I had something with fresh strawberry, chilli-infused pisco and lemon and my friend had a pisco-based mojito - and friendly and informed staff. All the dishes were very pretty to look at.

    Overall I loved the fish/seafood starters and my cocktail but I don’t think I’d rush to reorder any of the other dishes so I like the fact that the menu is still evolving!

    Finally, it is a so much better than Ceviche on frith street!

    6 Replies
    1. re: abby d
      m
      ManInTransit RE: abby d Jul 31, 2012 03:17 AM

      Thanks for the reports both, sounds fantastic and very keen to go.

      Can I ask what total bills were? Sounds as though it could get quite expensive.

      1. re: ManInTransit
        limster RE: ManInTransit Jul 31, 2012 03:50 AM

        Here's the sample menu with prices: http://www.limalondon.com/perch/resou...

        Hope that's helps.

        1. re: limster
          m
          ManInTransit RE: limster Jul 31, 2012 04:20 AM

          Thanks Limster - I've seen the website I'm just keen to know more how they try and construct your meal? Presumably three courses is not what's recommended but you are instead encouraged to order more than that and share around?

          Was your five course 'tasting menu' what they suggested or was it a lot of food?

          1. re: ManInTransit
            limster RE: ManInTransit Jul 31, 2012 04:25 AM

            They don't really encourage you one way or the other; the menu is structured in 3 courses which is what they implicitly suggest. The 4-5 course "tasting" is my idea, not theirs. I was hungry, and so ordered more; in one case I had 2 starters, 1 main and 1 dessert which I think would suit an average to above average appetite. Portion sizes are similar to Quo Vadis.

            1. re: ManInTransit
              abby d RE: ManInTransit Jul 31, 2012 05:10 AM

              between two we had three starters, two mains and one pudding plus a cocktail each and one of the cheaper bottles of red which came to c£80 a head. we asked about starters before choosing three and were told three or four would be fine as portions were small, which i think is fair.

              1. re: abby d
                m
                ManInTransit RE: abby d Jul 31, 2012 08:03 AM

                Thanks guys, sounds like a treat but not a blowout!

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