Open lunch Tue–Thu midday–2.30pm; dinner Mon–Sat 5.30pm–10.45pm, Sun 5pm–9pm
LIMA Fitzrovia opened in 2012, quickly winning over London and gaining a Michelin star – the first for Peruvian cuisine – the following year. This autumn, the restaurant celebrates an updated look and menu, following the team’s summer exploration in Peru and the Andes.
The understated interior, with its muted colour palette, remains in LIMA Fitzrovia’s new look. However, a new bright orange awning has been added; the front of the restaurant has been extended, creating more space and seats; and colourful murals by Bluey Byrne now adorns the back wall, complementing the restaurant’s vibrancy.
LIMA Fitzrovia is clearly the place to book for special occassions. A small group celebrating a birthday and dating couples were among our fellow guests.
For a cuisine known for its ceviches of seabass, scallops and crayfish as well as charcoal-roasted guinea pigs, I wasn’t sure if LIMA Fitzrovia was the best suggestion for a fellow vegetarian. I couldn’t believe my luck – we were spoilt for choice. We forsake the vegetarian tasting menu (£38) for several dishes to share: ceviche of root vegetables (£10) followed by clay-baked 6000m potato (£22) and wild mushroom (£22) with a side of baby spinach, cheese and pomegranate (£5).
Our Instagram-worthy dishes popped with colour and flavour. There were ingredients we hadn’t even tried before: violet-hued blue sweet potatoes (from the Andes) were among the root vegetables along with pale cream-coloured fresh corn, which accompanied the red quinoa and stained our tiger’s milk (a concoction of lime, ginger, coriander and herbs) dressing pink.
Mains were equally wonderful. Amazonian chestnuts mixed with red, green and black quinoas formed a gloopy, comforting bed dressed with crisp dried leaves; Red achiote (a spice) and wild mushrooms added intensity while elderflower juice gave sweetness to the creamy Inchicapi corn of our clay-baked 6000m potato dish.
Having ogled our neighbours’ puddings, we finally decided on perfectly soft and crumbly alfajores (South American cookies) with dulce de leche ice-cream sprinkled with colourful bee pollen (£9).
As our lunch preceded a visit to Chelsea Wine Show, we skipped the renowned pisco sours and chose a glass of crisp Ventopuro 2014 (£6.30 for 125ml).
In a nutshell
LIMA Fitzrovia surprised, charmed and certainly won us over.
Lima, 31 Rathbone Street, London W1; www.limalondongroup.com/fitzrovia; 020 3002 2640