With the news that Peruvian restaurant LIMA has just opened in Dubai, it seemed fitting to return to their original London restaurant in Fitzrovia to see how it’s fairing. It’s held a Michelin star for over five years.
Not much has changed in appearance since they first opened. There’s still a small dining room out the back flooded with natural light and a few tables by the windows that fold open at the front. Perfect for this sunny day.
We start with LIMA bread (£3); warm rolls with a vibrantly yellow centre, matched perfectly with seaweed butter, and vegetable crisps with red pepper and mint yoghurt dip (£6). Colourful and full of flavour. A recurring theme of the food at LIMA.
Sea bream ceviche (£8) is a punchy mouthful. That’s a serious citrusy wallop round the face going on there. The thin slices of sea bream are so soft and delicate, they just melt away as you eat them.
Prawn and avocado ceviche (£9) is the only dish I’m less keen on. It’s purely a texture thing; I love the bounciness of a cooked prawn; when it goes from see-through to pink it loses its sliminess. Here, it’s a bit of a slime-fest.
Scallop tostada (£14) is a must order, not only cos’ it looks so bloomin’ pretty but it’s such a lovely blend of textures. There’s crisp corn pancake, thick sour cream, tangy beetroot purée and slivers of sweet scallop.
Slices of fatty salmon tiradito (£10) come in a pool of tiger’s milk – that’s the Peruvian term for the citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in a ceviche. Thanks Wikipedia. Again, colourful and flavourful in equal measures.
Miso black cod (£34) comes with pomegranate, ponzu and fermented radish to cut through the richness of that fatty fish. It’s cleverly balanced. Plates keep coming, all gorgeous and exciting to eat. Poussin and cassava (£22), suckling pig with sofrito (£21), beef pachamanca (£26). The dishes are full of intriguing ingredients with unusual cooking techniques.
It’s a touch of holiday stepping into LIMA Fitzrovia and if anything is going to make you want to visit Peru, it’s eating here. Dubai is an interesting move and I don’t doubt they’ll do very well indeed.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant